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Blog Entries

Living Each Moment

I have dreams and plans and goals, and they have driven my life forwards.

Without these dreams, these goals I may not have achieved the many things I have: studying to become a doctor, publishing a couple of books, finishing an Ironman. The goal somewhere out in the future became the thing to focus upon, to strive towards, to hold like a beacon before me. I wanted children, then I wanted them grown up.

I yearned for marriage, then later divorce – more than once. As the mirage future took up my time I forgot to truly live in the present – the only real moments in a life.

My books were autobiographical – while writing and promoting them my gaze turned back in time. The long-cold past, unchangeable, unforgiving, stared back. Old hurts were reopened, long forgotten slights recalled and rekindled. The present took on the stain of long ago. It became difficult to feel the heat of the sun, as yesterday’s cloud enveloped me. The past is no place to waste our days.

Now I work in Hospice, caring for the dying. There’s nothing quite like a terminal diagnosis to focus the mind. Through this work I am learning to live each moment, to savour every second, each sacred sensation, to truly be present to the only time that should matter – the here and now.

This doesn’t mean abandoning dreams, looking forward to a hoped-for future. Nor does it mean abandoning memory, recalling our stories, assessing our past experience. It simply means really living each moment, paying attention to the here and now.

The fluffy toy poodle is licking my arm and face as I write this blog; her breath smells of old bones. I can hear my partner’s children watching the Three Amigos on television, there is a cool salt breeze off the sea that flicks the bedroom curtain across my line of sight.

This is now. This is true sensation. THIS is living.