Living in the Moment

Living in the moment. . .it sounds so carefree and breezy. You must be either terribly happy all the time, or terribly short-sighted, yes?

The thing that confounds me the most is that this is sort of the mindset prescribed–except this weird hybrid, where you live in the moment–for the sake of eternity–but never pay no mind about tomorrow. Instead, I guess the culture I was imbibed in while growing said that you ought to pay no mind to the moment (because it is passing), plan for tomorrow and the day after (because they’re coming), and acknowledge that while eternity exists, it’s such a meta-physical event that, you know, you can’t really comprehend it, so there’s not much point in thinking about it.

“Living in the moment” sounds so irresponsible to my ear, but I suppose what it really comes down to is that it seems so unnatural. And quite the paradox to consider needing discipline to maintain living in the moment–of deliberately shunning thoughts of tomorrow.

Are not the choices of today momentous? Do they not shape our futures, limit or expand our choices, paint the story of our life?

Perhaps not.

I was talking with my brother about repayment plans for my impending graduate debt, and the more we talked about things, the more I realized how little I had to do with anything–one of those great American Myths, ever perpetuated, the “ability” to pull one’s self up by one’s boot straps, to achieve anything with hard work and responsibility. This could happen or that could happen. Or something else entirely.

At the end of it, he apologized fro not being able to give me straight answers. I didn’t expect answers; I guess I was just looking for the peace of mind that maybe, hopefully, in probable chance, there was a way to have the life I wanted. Switching my mindset from considering a debt to considering a tax made me feel better. Thinking that too much would NOT be asked of me made me feel better. Feeling a sense of freedom made me feel better.

What changed, from moment to moment? Nothing, except the consideration of the morrow–of which an honest consideration had really only showed that I did not know what the future might bring.

I was not raised out of poverty. I was not condemned to it. I was not suffering. I was not relieved of such suffering.

I was playing mind-games with myself, and loosing.

And continue to, so long as I cannot live in the moment.

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