Chapter 5: Embrace Each Moment
Embrace Each Moment
The first four steps in our pursuit of equilibrium offered practical reminders. Believe in the big. Be faithful in the little. Enjoy the journey. Endure to the end. Yes, those make sense. Though not always simple and though too often difficult, they offer good goals—when we need to pay the bills, complete the tasks, work those muscles, contact a friend, choose to smile when our emotions tell us to frown, or choose to see life through a much better perspective. The reminders lure us toward equilibrium in these uneven surfaces of life.
But to live those four goals and to find a balance in life’s tough times, this fifth step is vital. Embrace each moment. Those good times and those sad times, those short sprints and those long marathons, those times with people who make you giggle and those times with people you personally prefer to not be around, those trips to the doctor to hear test results and those statements to make as you lead a funeral service for a relative, those fears you face and those desires you wish you didn’t have—embrace each moment.
This time is the only time that will be just like this.
Now is the only time that will be just like now.
The day, the week, the month, the year. The hour, the minute, the second. The weather, the temperature. The wind, the sunshine. The stars, the moon. The rain, the snow. The feelings, the thoughts, the conversations, the wars. The news reports, the sports scores, the political division. The book you are reading, the music you are hearing.
Open the menu and glance through a variety of options—something difficult for an I-always-know-what-I-want-so-why-get-a menu guy like me. Don’t close the curtains quickly, but gaze outside to see the grass, the leaves, the neighbor’s pets, the lady slowly driving to a house where her spouse recently passed away, the plane hardly noticeable as it flies closer to its landing, the deer you never would have noticed if you had not hit pause to stare straight ahead. Listen to the song without singing along—though you know the lyrics, choose to hear them again and again as you imagine scenes from the songwriter and scenes from your own world.
Every moment has value. Each now is the only now just like it. Our conversations are covered with words and phrases, but do we really pay attention? Do we hear what is stated and what is left out? Do we grasp emotions and memories and mysteries and conflict and joy and wonder and value and love? Do we?
Refuse to let this moment go unnoticed.
- Why are you in such a hurry?
- What keeps you from resting and enjoying each moment?
- What are you hoping to prove?
- How can you change that for a better balance of planning ahead with wisdom and noticing that each moment has value?