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Living in the Now

Posted by johnnieraz on January 19, 2025 at 1:30 AM

By John Rezell

     Without question the toughest part of being a parent is figuring out how you got to be who you are so you can pass that along to your kids as they search for their own identity.

     I only have a couple of hints of how I ended up who I am. And trust me, I'm not who many would have guessed I would turn out to be back in high school.

     But that's the beauty of life and the wonder of the journey.

     I can only speak for myself. I managed to find the courage, or maybe just enough recklessness abandon, to believe I could change. I didn't worry about the implications. I just set out to change.

     That hint came from my father. If you've read anything of mine over the years you know the story. He lost his short term memory latter in life. When I asked him about it, he told me it was fine. Because none of that mattered. Not the past nor the future. All that matters is the present.

      As I wonder about the many aspects of my life, I'm constantly drawn back to that moment, when I began to focus on living in the present.

      For years it came down to a simple premise: I can't change the past and I have VERY limited control over the future. It's all about what I do now, in this moment. I can attempt to prepare for a better future. But it's only a hope, really, not a guarantee.

      I recently watched Brian Greene's NOVA on time. I've always been fascinated by the concept of time although I can easily get in over my head digging into the essence of time.

     Greene explains quite well Einstein's theory that the past, present and future all co-exist. Some people like to believe that their future is predetermined, and float through life accordingly, letting the winds of fate carry them along.

     In believing that the future holds every possible outcome the present becomes a game of living to increase your odds of creating the future you desire.

     Of course, there is no complete control. It's all about increasing — or decreasing — your odds in the decisions that you make every moment in the present.

     I have a close friend who struggles with anxiety. He often bounces ideas off me since I appear to have little to no anxiety at all.

     I know many will have difficulty with that statement, but it's true. I just don't worry about stuff. That's not to say I wasn't a complete worry freak in my younger days. Oh, believe me, I was. Because, of course, my mother set the bar for worrying — as I believe most people believe of their mothers.

     Focusing on the present makes worries about righting past wrongs or wondering what the future holds somewhat problematic because, of course, it is ruining your present. Turning what could be a glorious morning into a stress filled day. No thanks.

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