29 December 2010


The new year is upon us!  And while it’s tempting to write something like “It’s full of new opportunities, new experiences, new people, etc.,” I know that the truth is that the year isn’t full of anything like that–-the new year is a series of new days, and all of the new opportunities and new experiences would come to us even if we didn’t measure time in 365-day, 12-month, or 52-week units.  Each day that we live is full of opportunities to do something new and different, to meet new people, to take up new hobbies, to change the ways that we do things in our lives.

I like the idea of a new year.  It’s convenient to have a period of time that we can look back on and reflect on all that we’ve done, to have periods–-be they weeks, months, or years–-for which we can establish goals and determine courses of action for bringing positive change to our lives.  But those periods really are artificial; I don’t think that the trees in our back yards are marking the passage of days or weeks, do you?  And if they are artificial, then it’s important that we see them for just what they are and not make too much of a deal about what they mean to us.

The most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to recognize the importance of the present moment, the decisions that we’re making right now, the opportunities that are here for us now.  Because our lives are made up not of a series of years or months, but a series of “right-nows,” and what we do with each of those right-nows as we make our ways through life is the most important element of our lives.

What do you do with your right-nows, your present moments?  Right now you could encourage another person, start making a list of goals for the new year, start working on that novel, write a poem, write a letter to someone who could use a letter–-any of hundreds of things--but you have to make a decision to do so.  These things don’t just happen–-they’re the result of people doing with their present moments something constructive, enjoyable, and important to themselves and others.  That’s what right now is all about!

The present is passed over in the race for the future;
the here is neglected in favor of the there.
Enjoy the moment, even if it means
merely a walk in the country.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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