Today is all you have

My youngest daughter is always asking me what my favorites are. My favorite color, my favorite food, my favorite color (she asks that one a lot). The other day she mixed it up a little and asked me what my favorite Day was. Honestly, I was a little confused by her question. Was she asking if I preferred Monday over Tuesday? Sunday over Wednesday? I mean, Fridays are nice, but Saturdays have their own special attraction. "What do mean, honey?" I asked her. She explained that her teacher's favorite day was her birthday and she was wondering if that was the case for me too.

I thought for a moment, racing through all the possibilities. Major holidays, family celebrations, nothing was standing out to me as a clear "favorite". Then I thought about a book I am reading by Jeff Goins. It's called The In-Between, and the premise of it is that life happens in the moments in between the major events of life, and if we spend our days focused on the destinations and not the journey, we can miss out on the really good stuff.

So, with this in mind, I replied to Amber's question, "Today!" She looked at me a little puzzled. "Today is my favorite day," I repeated. "Do you know why?" I asked. "No," she responded. "Because, really, that is all we have." I'm not sure that she understood where I was coming from, but for that moment she seemed satisfied with my answer.

Since then, I keep coming back to that concept. I'm becoming more and more convinced of the importance of this perspective. As a serial procrastinator, Tomorrow has always been my best friend. He and I have planned some amazing adventures, strategized some incredible initiatives and... accomplished nothing.

You see, tomorrow is a myth. It doesn't exist. Not when it comes to action anyway. For chasing your dream, checking off a to-do list, strengthening a relationship or changing the world, Today is all you have. This moment, right now.

I'm not saying that we can't make plans for another time. I mean, we can't accomplish everything we want and need to do in this one moment. We just need to be careful not to get lured into the fantasy world of "tomorrow". You know - where you always "have time" and where everything is just perfect.

That "Tomorrow" is a lie!

Life is lived in a series of unique moments. Some are fun and exciting, others dull and boring, and some extremely painful. The only choice we have is how we respond to the moment we are in. We can zone out, pretend it doesn't exist and daydream about future moments that might be different from now. Or, we can be emotionally present in the moment, and savor it for the blessing that it is.

For me, that means...
  • intentionally looking for the value in moments that I would have relegated to just "filler" or "in-between" as Jeff calls them. 
  • not losing sight of what is really important. 
  • savoring each moment like a good cup of coffee or a glass of fine wine. 
  • taking action Now on things that need to be done or changed or said. 
  • accepting life as it comes and embracing both the Good and the Bad. 
  • living in the Present, where real life is happening. 

Remember, Today is yesterday's Tomorrow. All you have to work with is right now, this moment. What will you do with it?

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