Today’s big idea is that although it’s tempting to tell yourself, “I can’t wait until this is over so I never have to think about it again,” there will come a day when you will miss parts of what you’re living through now. And recognizing those parts now, while you’re living them, will help give you strength, courage, and hope. So today, cherish the present —you’ll miss it someday.
Listen To The Podcast
When I was in my early 30s, I broke up with the man I thought I would marry. Rather, he broke up with me. We had moved to New Jersey together and I was commuting to my job in New York City. I was devastated. Just totally blown wide open. To the point that I couldn’t have even a friendly “Hi how are you conversation” with the stranger sitting next to me on the bus or the train every morning without crying.
I cried in front of people from all walks of life, a group of white guys on the bus who kept cracking jokes trying to help me get rid of my sob-induced hiccups, a black man of similar age to me on a train platform, work friends who were definitely friendly but not yet total friends as I had just started working there. My hair dresser. My landlord. I cried on my own too, walking down the street after going to see the movie Far From Heaven. Standing under the awning outside a restaurant waiting for a rain storm to pass. I was so devastated, I had no energy for keeping up any walls.
It reminds me of what Brooke talked about in my interview with her yesterday
How hard times are a chance to step away from our programming—the way we’ve always been because that’s the way we’ve been taught we should be. And you know what? I miss it. I miss that realness. That connection. That chance I got every day to see people’s compassion and feel their empathy. That sense that I didn’t need to exert any effort to support any level of artifice. That feeling that I was paying attention only to what mattered. Which in that moment was healing from the past and thinking hard about what I wanted my future to look like. And when I think back on that time now, I don’t remember the hurt so much as I remember the openness, and how good it felt, and how it helped shape me for the better. I’m glad I took the time to cherish the present then, it made me appreciate it more now.
Here’s the thing…
Nothing is 100 percent good or bad. Even these very hard times have bits of goodness in them. I know people are suffering. Losing a job, losing a loved one, losing the ability to live life as we used to is loss, and loss is hard. I’m not saying we’ll miss the hard parts. But I think we should cherish the present, as we will miss how good it felt to break up with some of our programming about how we and life should be. I think we’ll miss the back-to-basic-ness of this time, and even how it’s forcing us to stop looking ahead to the future because so that we can spend more time in the present. These things are a lot harder to do when we’re busy living our ‘normal’ lives.