Are you living in the past, in the future or are you living in the “now”?
I recently read a book entitled, “Chasing the Daylight’ by Eugene O’Kelly. He was the CEO of KPMG, the large international accounting firm. He wrote the book after he had been diagnosed with brain cancer and given three months to live. He had three tumors, each the size of a golf ball. There was little that could be done. To that point he had led a very active life and always enjoyed good health. The news was an incredible shock. He died three and a half months later. Fortunately he suffered little pain which helped him achieve what he wanted to do.
His strength of character and personality shone through as he made preparations for his death. His actions were to “make the time remaining the best of my life, and as good as it could possibly be for those most affected by my situation.” I think he achieved that admirably.
The inevitable search for meaning of life was there and the recognition that ultimately, the ownership of “things” is quite meaningless when faced with one’s mortality. He looked at his business colleagues and wished they could understand that having the trappings and all the toys from climbing the corporate ladder was like chasing the wind. He wished they could see when “enough was enough.”
He took the time and made the effort to “wind down” or bring to closure as many relationships as he possibly could. He began with business colleagues and gradually moved on to close friends, immediate family and then his wife and daughters. He wanted the closures to be positive and a time to share how important the relationships had been to him. Many he approached found it very difficult to say goodbye and did not want to let go. Some could not accept the finality of it, while others became angry thinking he was giving in too easily. His immediate family were given special times in special places for their closure.
He talks about his transition from this life to the next and how he dealt with the sense of the unknown. However, in making the best of the situation he attempted to live in the “now” and not dwell on the past or even think of tomorrow. He found real purpose and meaning in living and enjoying each day, each hour. He basked in the pleasure of those special moments of being “fully present” by taking in every little detail of his surroundings – much of which had previously passed unnoticed.
Does this not remind us to take stock of how we treat each day because that is all we are given. Yesterday has gone and tomorrow never arrives. Certainly there are blessings to be remembered from yesterday and there is anticipation for the rewarding activities of tomorrow. But we can so easily overlook the incredible blessings of living in the present, of living in the “now.” I am not sure about you, but I need to appreciate the gift of today, to live in gratitude for all that it means, and to share it to the maximum with those I love.