Appreciate each moment, present is a gift

Alanis King

In the midst of the freezing winter months, people dream of summer vacations, bikinis, pool parties, and trips to the beach. Most want to trade in those fuzzy boots for a pair of sandals, and feel sand between their toes rather than snow under their feet. Yet, in the midst of summer, we long for the frigid winter, bonfires, and the chance to bring the newest pair of Ugg boots out of our closets.

The same goes for just about everything else – we long for breaks from school, yet during those breaks, we long to return to our friends and escape boredom. When it rains, we wish for sunlight, but when the sky is clear, we pray for rain. Children can’t wait to grow up, yet adults want to return to their childhood. While we’re at home, we’re eager to leave, but when we’re away from home, we can’t wait to get back. We never seem to be satisfied with our surroundings, our age, or our current location; and without us even realizing it, the famous phrase instructing us to “stop and smell the roses” is, for the most part, caught up and swept away in the whirlwind of this fast-paced world we live in.

Why is it that, in today’s world, we always look toward what’s ahead rather than what is right in front of us? We are so absorbed in the future and what we want that even when we greet people and inquire about their days, we forget their answer so quickly that it’s like the exchange never happened. Whether it’s getting caught up in planning tomorrow or years from now, or constantly wishing to be out of our current predicament – no one seems to be able to stop and enjoy the moment, let alone take in their surroundings.

When we’re not caught up in planning the future, many of us are stuck in our memories, wishing to return to places we once were, looking like we once did, and everything in between. While we’re vicariously living through our memories, the physical world passes us by and we miss out on living in it.

So, since we are so accustomed to wanting everything to be different, how can we remove ourselves from this monotonous rut of never being content?

Maybe we can start with the little things. Making those casual “Hey, how are you?”s matter and being satisfied with the current season, whether it’s frigid or smoldering outside, or even when we’re being attacked by those springtime allergies. We can begin to live in the moment rather than in the past or the future. In addition to that, if we can learn to be thankful and stop constantly longing for things we don’t have, memories we can’t physically relive, and places we aren’t currently residing, we can all be a bit more content with our lives.

While occasionally looking ahead to the future and reminiscing about good times is always acceptable, doing so continually and wishing to be somewhere else or in another situation takes away from the life we’re living right now. We can strive to be happy with the freezing cold in the winter, as well as scorching hot in the summer, and not wish for it to be the other way around. Not only will this help us to enjoy the moment, it might just make us appreciate everything a little bit more.