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When? Anticipating Life

I spend more time anticipating my life than living it. There it is.

I spend an inordinate amount of time living vicariously, though sadly, the other is the future “me.” I live the imagined experiences I will have, the fun that awaits me, the people I will meet, the new things I will learn, when ….

The ubiquitous when. When I have more time, when I am not as stressed, when work settles down, when I can afford it, when my to-do list is under control, when life gives me a break, when I am in a better spot, etc. When, when, when …?

This from a person who is committed to self-discovery and personal growth, a person committed to being, and finding, and noticing, and learning; a person who apparently needs to be constantly reminded she is a work in progress.

For me, this realization is not about the dash. I’m sure you have heard the analogy or read the poem, The Dash, by Linda Ellis. The dash is the simple yet profound idea that all that matters at the end of our life is the dash that appears between the dates of our birth and death. The dash represents time—the opportunities we had to live our life and what we did with it.

I think that living “when,” putting off life “until,” is more than just squandering the dash. We are actually losing what matters the most, the most precious thing we have in this life. We are losing our connection to the present moment, to the life that exists right here, right now, the only life we really have. And in passing on the present moment, we are not only giving up our connection, but also our creativity, our ability to respond and react, our ability to learn and grow, our happiness. We are passing on ourselves, thinking that we can pick it up another time, another day. When …

With this, I am no longer willing to live an anticipated life. I am no longer willing to pass on the present moment. I will commit to connecting with my life and living it now. Not in some future moment at some future date. I am avowing the profound idea that life exists only in the right here and right now, the most precious and only moment we have. And I, for one, don’t want to miss it.

When? Now.


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