Notable Quotable: Living for Today

Planning to enjoy your life is not the same as enjoying your life.   ~ Alan Cohen

I wonder if we realize just how much time we truly waste and how much of the present we actually miss? So many of us spend entirely too much time in the future, planning, plotting, devising, that we miss the right here, right now of today.

Too much dreaming of the future neglects the present. And how much of our forward-thinking is spent worrying? How much time do you think we waste worrying about things that never happen and may not ever happen? We lose so much valuable time to anxieties over the future (and regrets from the past) — time that we will never get back. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and often productive to think about the future and it’s sometimes rewarding to think about the past but we need to spend more time being in the now. There is a deep appreciation that can be found through living in the present.

I was reminded of being in the now the other night as I watched the lunar eclipse and rejoiced in the sight of an awesome blood moon. I wasn’t thinking about what I should or could be doing. Instead I just enjoyed sitting in the yard and watching the eclipse unfold. Normally a rather impatient person, I found it relaxing to just sit and marvel at this rare occurrence.

Living in the present also brings about a sense of gratitude. Being grateful helps anchor you in the here and now as you become keenly aware of that which has made you grateful. Not to mention that practicing gratitude is extremely good for your heart and soul!

Alan Cohen’s quote, “Planning to enjoy your life is not the same as enjoying your life,” really brings the reality of planning into view. It’s good to plan ahead, but don’t spend all your time planning. Instead, make a commitment to spend your time LIVING in the now.

Do you find that you spend too much time in the future (or the past)? How do you practice living for today?

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8 thoughts on “Notable Quotable: Living for Today

  1. Tentative plans are probably a good idea most of the time, but we should never count on any of them actually coming to pass. Be prepared for the worst possibilities, but have expectations for the best and live today as though tomorrow will be another good day. Flexibility and a willingness to adapt to change can get us through a lot of difficulties in life. I prefer to savor the moment as best as I can and appreciate the past with which I’ve been blessed. Worry about things to come is wasted time and energy. Besides, what we think is going to happen tomorrow is frequently not as we would have ideally wished it to be.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true Lee. Flexibility and a willingness to adapt: you hit the nail on the head there! Wasted time and energy worrying: OMG, my mom is the worst at this: she worries and worries, all the What Ifs drive her crazy and I keep trying to tell her to relax and quit worrying about what hasn’t happened! But some people are just programmed that way. She says she tries not to worry but it’s just how she’s wired.

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  2. Oh gosh-I have been told, more than once, that I worry about thing 5 years in the future and things that may never happen. It is a part of who I am. In the same instance I truly enjoy smelling a flower, enjoying a good movie, creating a card or looking at my blog. these are tension reducers. I think too many people actually think of what they could have had or should have done. They think of winning that big lotto and getting a better place etc… not thinking that the place they are in is usually quite nice. It would be great to live in the present in this way

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    • You are so right Birgit. I’m always thinking about the big beautiful house I’m going to have one of these days, you know, the 8000 sq ft house with the pool on 2 acres? That one. Then I stop and look around and the house I’m in is actually quite beautiful and I’ve spent a lot of time, money and love renovating it to get it just the way I want it. Why is that not enough?? Yes, I too, need to practice living in the present… Thanks for your comment!

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  3. When the weekend arrives if Willy Dunne Wooters can come over to my house, I drop everything and spend the time with him. I don’t work on the computer unless he’s napping. Even when he watches football, I stay by him and enjoy being next to him. It doesn’t matter that I don’t care about football. I care about HIM. And the attention we give each other is not one-sided. He takes me out for dinner and does some things that I like to do. He took me to get my colonoscopy. Paying attention to him when he’s here is my living in the now. We don’t dwell on our past relationships.

    Love,
    Janie

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