Driving through the mountains the other day, I realized that I was not truly enjoying the moment. Quite frankly, I was barely even “there”. For me that is odd. You see I love the mountains, road trips and practically anything outdoors.
Since I tend to analyze myself and my actions quite a bit, I began to question this uncharacteristic behavior of mine. Why was I not enjoying the majestic view of rolling hills, tall trees and green landscape?
My answer: I was living for tomorrow.
This isn’t a new thing for me. Over the past few years, if not my whole life, I’ve been living for tomorrow. Whether it be vacations, family visits, holidays or a planned hike, it all happens tomorrow. These are the things I look forward to the most, so they are what consume my attention and the majority of thoughts. The negative side to this is that today comes and goes without me really taking notice.
A few years ago my Mother and I, who live in separate states, practically wasted an entire summer waiting on a move that never happened. We visit each other every summer, but since the move could have potentially occurred at any time, we did nothing and went no where. Before we knew it, the summer was over and we were still waiting.
Living for tomorrow isn’t always due to an exciting adventure to come. Sometimes tomorrow holds an event we’re dreading. Then when the time comes, we find that these events are less severe than what we had imagined them to be. Then there are other times when they never even come to pass. Have you ever worried yourself sick over something and then it didn’t happen? I have. What a waste of time it was.
I’ve learned that there are many negative consequences when you live for tomorrow.
1) You lose today. Today is the here and now. You may not even be alive tomorrow.
2) By wasting today, you can destroy tomorrow. When you focus all your time on tomorrow, you may slack in the areas that need your attention now. Areas such as relationships, children, work and projects. These all suffer because you’re not “there”.
3) If you are too caught up in the future, you can take for granted and may even mistreat what’s already right in front of you. This tends to happen in relationships the most. You may be thinking of how to fix issues or maybe even the life you would have if your situation was different, instead of just making today work. Make today a good day and you may find that you don’t need a different situation after all.
4) When you’re not present for the here and now, special moments that could have been pass you by.
5) What if that event that you are looking forward to never happens? You’ve wasted all that time and energy on nothing.
6) When you lose today, there is no retrieving it. It is gone forever.
Continuing on through the mountains that day, I decided that I need to stop living for tomorrow. I can certainly look forward to it and I do, but today is here now. Tomorrow will come or maybe it won’t, but at least I can say that I was present for today.
“Dream for tomorrow, but always live for today.“
I have a similar philosophy to your last quote, “Plan for tomorrow, but don’t forget to live for today.”
That is an excellent philosophy to live by. Thank you for sharing it and thank you for reading.