Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Enjoying the Precious Present


“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”  ~ Walt Whitman

I spend a lot of time thinking about the future… and by a lot I mean A LOT. Looking forward to things, counting down to things (Only 155 days til Christmas!), etc. I have so many things I want to accomplish and places that I want to go. I get so excited just thinking of these things.

However there is a down side to this. By spending so much time thinking about the future, I sometimes neglect the “present”. Sometimes there is so much beauty in simply embracing the “now”…living it and breathing it and feeling it.

Why is it that we spend so much time in the future or in the past? Why do we neglect the present moment? We are breathing the air of this very moment, but are we really inhaling it? We are living in this very moment, but are we truly alive

We are not promised next year, next month, next week, or even the next day. We should never take the precious time that we are given for granted by focusing our energy on the time we may never even have. 
Do you think it's human nature to neglect the present? Do you allow yourself to embrace the “here and now”?

152 comments:

  1. We aren't promised a future. Just now.
    I admit I'm a here-and-now kind of guy. I'll plan some things for the future, but I rarely think of the past. (Mostly because I can't remember anyway.) Makes things simple that way.

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  2. i try to enjoy the quiet beauty i have around me, but i spend a lot of time thinking ahead.

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  3. I sometimes spend too much time in the future... the reminders of beauty around us here and now center me back in the present... where I belong.

    It's okay to have things to look forward to in the future... it is good to make goals but we do need to remember the here and now ...;-)

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  4. It's an interesting point. I am perhaps a here and now person, but with an eye to the future. My partner is very much a future person. We compromise between the two.

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  5. I try to concentrate on today. It is all we have. I think the older one gets the more one realizes this.

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  6. I think that we sometimes find the present too intense or uncomfortable, so look forward or back as a kind of anaesthesia. It's something I try not to do too much of.

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  7. True True! It's easy to find ourselves living for the future and ignoring the present. I try to saver the present. I think this requires being a "glass is half full" person - but that's just me. And the fact I haven't had my morning coffee yet. :)

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  8. I hear a lot about living in the moment but lets face it, we have to think about the future too, make goals and in my case, plan for my retirement.

    I think that when we live in gratitude, we become more aware of the now. I'm trying to live consciously but I get so busy by the immediate demands put on me that sometimes and I catch myself wanting to be retired and just feel free of the many obligations that I have right now. Life is really a juggling act that we must all try to balance.

    Reviewing how I have lived my day at the end of the day is a good thing because it allows me to be thankful for things that came my way when I was just too focused or preoccupied to notice then.

    If I was living like a hermit, maybe I could live in the moment most of the time.

    To live in hope is also a gift. Hope is for the future and nothing is guaranteed...Reviewing the day to see how I was with God is living in the past but in a good way.

    What I don't want to do is reliving past hurts and failures. Those happened to teach me and I also should be thankful for those.

    Have a balanced day Keith.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  9. The past I don't think about much at all, the future some, as I plan away. The present I tend to stay in, unless it's work, then I zone out until that is over lol

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  10. I'm not sure I'm up to such profundity early in the morning. ;-) Great post!! And especially in this day and age it's easy to get caught up in a whirlwind. Living out in the country, I think I have fewer distractions, for which I'm grateful. It's easy for me to walk outdoors and thank God for the beautiful alfalfa field, the rolling hills, the creek, the woods, the birdsong, the warm summer breeze...

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  11. Even living in the here and now can be depressing. I am climbing toward the age where I have to think about things like retirement.I am older and love telling the grand kiddies stories about growing up. It feels like The past when life was so different and felt so uncomplicated. Tomorrow when it is doubtful that the Social Security taken from me all of my life will be there as promised. It is a no win situation. So for today I'll just worry about my property tax bill that arrived in the mail yesterday.

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  12. Great post! I don't think there's anything wrong with being excited about the future and enjoying past memories, but you're right about not doing that at the expense of the present. Thanks for the excellent reminder. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  13. I have found myself more and more lately trying to focus on the present. I rarely make concrete future plans (unless it's for a specific event) so I am forcing myself to think about the future less. I try not to look at the past at all, as it's no longer important to me (it's over with). I also 'unplug' a lot so I can focus on the present more.

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  14. I've been guilty of living in the past and waiting for the future. The present will probably look really good to me in a few years time lol.

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  15. Hi Keith .. wonderfully appropriate quote from Whitman ... but we are creatures of the thens and what will be .. but we seriously should be thinking of the now ... Great post - and so essential to remember .. cheers Hilary

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  16. I don't tend to spend a lot of time in the past or the future, but even in the present, I'm a bit of a daydreamer so basically I'm just in my own little world beyond time and space, LOL!

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  17. I do think it is human nature to live in the past or think about the future. I think it's why meditation is so widespread around the world. It helps brings us into the moment. An Al-Anon slogan, "One Day at a Time" chunked down to one minute at a time helps me remember to stay focused where I am in the moment. I miss so much when I'm not really, fully conscious.

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  18. We do belittle the present day, then look back years later with nostalgia.

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  19. Your observations are extremely apt. I can't speak for other people, of course, but I find myself continuously thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Perhaps it's human nature to subconsciously avoid the present. In essence, the present is our only reality. The past can't be revived and the future is completely uncertain.

    It's extremely important to make the most of the present. It's all we really have.

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  20. Good Morning, I think we all do this. We may think were living in the present moment, but we get stuck thinking and planning for what's going to happen later or tomorrow. It takes a conscious decision to live in the moment without overthinking the future.

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  21. In May, I was in San Fran for a layover and saw my best friend. He had said he wasn't feeling well and was going to the Dr. before we went to dinner. We went to dinner and chatted about his future plans...he was going to retire from his job and go back to consulting, he and his girlfriend were going to move to Portland and he was very excited by that prospect. I got a phone call from his girlfriend two days later, he had died in his sleep the day after I saw him.
    His death made me realize that while the future is important, today is much more so. Live each day to its fullest!

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  22. I have a whole list of things I'm waiting for right now -- fun book events coming up, my husband returning from his business trip, an editorial letter.

    Thanks for this blog post. I had forgotten that TODAY is the kind of day I would normally really enjoy if I wasn't looking ahead to other things: Gorgeous weather, not much on the agenda, I can exercise, get some fresh air, do some writing ...

    I will work on enjoying today. Thanks, Keith!

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  23. Makes me think back to summer vacations when I was 10 or 11 and hung out in the wooded pastures with horses or swam in a pond. No past, no future, some of my best memories. Think I will make some more in the now.

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  24. I think I go through phases but feel like I'm present more than most people. And I do sometimes have a tendency to live in the past. It's just that the past was SO GOOD at times. Hard not to want to go back there! Ha ha.

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  25. In the past few years, I have been completely in the present. I love to remember certain moments in the past, but don't get stuck there. And I don't look far into the future anymore. Since I hit my 40s, a few people I know passed away unexpectedly or tragically, and this has made me realize that there's no guarantee of a 'tomorrow'. This has 'cured' me of going too far into the future. I live for the day. And I'm happy just getting one more every time I wake up. The future will arrive in its own time and in its own way...if it's meant to arrive at all.

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  26. Great question and I think that we are human beings that naturally think for the future especially if we are waiting for something great( a vacation etc...) but we live in a time that manipulates our thinking to become obsessed with it. Society and marketing want us to think of the future. This happens from when we are so young. Children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. When they start high school they are constantly told to think about what they want to do for the future. I was aghast at my niece's graduation. The principal introduced them, cited any awards and then mentioned what they are doing for the future and what they wish to become. We are told to save for the future or else. We must have these things or we are not a success, we must have 2.3 children, white picket fence and a heavy mortgage we can't afford and keep striving for the future success. I think this is one reason why so many have major health issues. If we think just of the present, enjoy what we actually have, our pulse rates slow, we realize what we have and cherish it and before one knows it, the future stuff is not necessarily needed. Enjoy the flower, Enjoy an artwork or a dog's licks. It's beautiful

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  27. Keith...this what happens when you get 55+...you drink in the now! It's such a great place to be...but occasionally I still find myself ticking of the days too!

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  28. My best moments are spent in the present time.
    I try not to dwell in the past as that is wasted effort and I don't know what the future may bring so I just enjoy the present time.


    Going on a walk with my Golden now, that will be fun
    Smiles

    Good post, Keith

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  29. Greetings Keith,

    My kind friend, I'm living in the now and savouring every moment of it. Right now, when you read this, you are experiencing the now and smiling.

    In peace and kind wishes,

    Gary :)

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  30. Ah I am also guilty of this. You make a good point, perhaps we should try and embrace each day :). Hope you have a great week!

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  31. I think we all look forward to certain things. I think that's a natural thing to do. To live in the future isn't. We need to enjoy the here and now. There is so much to enjoy each and every day.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  32. Hi, Keith!
    It's all right. while a man is young, he thinks about the future, present is not important to him
    when a man is elderly, he thinks only about the present and lives and rejoices the present; future not important to him

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  33. Maybe its because we are goal oriented that we are always thinking ahead instead of enjoying the here and now. I know I struggle with it, but I try to tell all new moms to enjoy the present time with their babies/children. Don't try to rush it and wish for them to walk, etc., because it will come so very soon and you'll blink and they will be graduating from high school. I will see if I can try to live for the here and now better than I've been doing :)

    betty

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  34. Looking to the future gives one hope, esp. if the present is rough. The past should be left behind.

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  35. I gotta be honest. I'm an in the moment, kinda gal. I love goals and working toward a target, but for me, it's all about right now.

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  36. Just this morning I decided I would just enjoy today and not worry about the future! Simply because it's a perfect day. What a coincidence you should do this post about the present. So saying...I will start worrying again soon lol.

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  37. I'm guilty of thinking about 'some day' a lot! I find my 'slow down and appreciate now' moments happen most often when I'm driving and I really get a chance to see how pretty the day is. And when I'm sitting outside w/my son and he's running around playing. We've had the bubble maker on, and watching them float around has been pretty magical. =)

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  38. Aw man! I just left a comment but it deleted it. :/ I have very few present moments. I have a disassociative disorder so to be present is very, very rare to me. I don't even notice that I'm not present until I become present again. I had a very beautiful present moment last night watching my son sleep. He had crawled up on my pillow and laid on his back and all sprawled out. He was so beautiful it almost brought me to tears. I do think about the future a lot but I feel like a lot of the time I'm caught in a numbness. I want to be more present. It breaks my heart how much time I've wasted being numb and stuck in another world in my head. :/

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  39. This has been on my mind too! I've been reading Present Moment Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh and a wonderful book by Wayne Dyer called The Shift, which is about "meaning."
    I don't know why it is so hard to love the present moment! I am already anticipating having a wonderful weekend and it's only Tuesday! But, as I practice being in 'the now' it is getting better. I am spending more quality time with my cats now, like there isn't a tomorrow. Ha.

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  40. It's probably only human nature to look to the future, but I do have many moments to enjoy the present. Especially since I'm not having to work anymore!

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  41. with my old bones the present seems all encompassing sometimes but I do wonder about the future but with what's happening in our country and world I find the future outlook rather depressing of late.

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  42. I think we live in the present when we are happy and satisfied with our life and surroundings. We do look forward to the future for things that excite us. And sometimes things that we are not looking forward too.
    I like to live in the present. Everyday here is a differnt day.
    Cheri

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  43. It's one of them thar Buddhist things to focus on the single moment. I endeavor to do that, whether or not a do a good job of it is conjecture. In my heresies, I often say the moment is all you have, the past being memory and the future being a jack-off fantasy.

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  44. Your scenic wonder in the photo is so beautiful!!! You said: We are not promised next year, next month, next week, or even the next day. I always try to do my best by embracing the moment. No matter if it's a good moment or a bad moment...it's now!!

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  45. I lean towards embracing the "here and now" because in reality, the present is all that we have. We aren't guaranteed any sort of future. Those who think they are guaranteed a future are the ones who neglect the beautiful things occurring in front of them, in this moment - here and now.

    I think most humans do see themselves as invincible, thereby causing them ti neglect the present. The truth is that life is fleeting; life is so brief. Until we embrace the brevity that is before us, we will do a crappy job at appreciating where our life is at right now.

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  46. Perhaps because the moment is such a fleeting time, it is only natural to always look to the future. I get up drink the OJ and coffee and then start thinking ahead, the moment gone the way of the OJ and coffee. It's survival and so I would guess it is our nature.

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  47. Hi Keith! I like your post. I try to stay very present and realize I am safe and enough in this moment. I consciously choose not to time travel to the past or future too much because all of my power is in the now.
    Hugs!

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  48. I spend time in the here and now, and time anticipating/planning/dreading the future.
    It is time spent in the past which is the soul sucker for me.
    And the beauty of now is so often healing that it acts as an anchor.

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  49. I'm pretty good at that but it might be because due to my age, time is too precious to waste. Good to see a young un like you getting it.

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  50. Oh that picture is beautiful.
    I look to the future but I really think I have learned to enjoy each day that I'm living now. I think that must come with age. : )

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  51. I think as we age (as I have) we are inclined to think of the past more and relive the memories. Nice post and I wish you a wonderful future.

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  52. I used to be like you, always daydreaming, thinking about my future, it was probably one of my favourite hobbies, but not so much now. Dealing with family stuff, means I might not get to do all the things I dreamed of, which has helped me to live for today and to do nice things on a smaller scale now. But I still think it is good to be a dreamer, otherwise how do you make dreams come true?

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  53. It is a fine balance. The future is always attractive and goals are set. The past is also acknowledged as it is what made us. It is a beauiful summer here and on that note I am off to be in the moment.
    Thank you for this subject matter

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    1. You come up with a good term ...balance.

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  54. I'm getting better about appreciating now.

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  55. PS - what a beautiful spot in your photo. It calls for a picnic.

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  56. I am also guilty of looking ahead too much and neglecting to live in the moment and enjoy the blessings that surround me right now! Thanks for this great post and timely reminder to live in and enjoy the here and now!

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  57. I do this a lot too. I'm always looking ahead to the future and I often forget to savor the present. That's one thing that I really enjoy about having a dog... she forces me to spend focus on the present, and I really appreciate that.

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  58. I CONSTANTLY worried about the future. What is my career going to be? What is my next move? What designs can I use in my house so that I can sell it potentially in a few years without damaging it (I just moved to my house less than a year ago)?

    It's so difficult!! I'm trying my hardest to live for now and enjoy where I'm at. But I guess I can't always help but wonder "What's next?"

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  59. The now is so fleeting that it's difficult to recognize it. Past is easy. It's our history. Future allows us to dream. I think we consider our end when we ponder the future. I'd enjoy the present but I wouldn't sweat it.

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  60. Merry Christmas Keith :)
    I have to constantly Bering myself to here.
    I do yoga wash day and doing that helps train me to be in the moment I but I still struggle.

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  61. It seems that we tend to fill our schedules so full that we have no time to even think about the present, let alone enjoy it! There is such beauty around us daily.

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  62. I do this, too. I try very hard to live in the moment on the weekends, but even then I catch myself not doing so. It's good to know I'm not the only one.

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  63. Hi Keith.
    I think it is human nature to allow the mind to wonder either into the past or into the future. But with a little, consistent training one can learn to focus on the present moment more.....starting with a few seconds when brushing your teeth for example, think of what you are actually doing, and increasing that over time and at different times of the day. Nothing wrong with thinking about the future or the past but at the expense of the 'precious present'. That is really all we have.

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    1. .....but NOT at the expense of the 'precious present....

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  64. I try to live in the present these days and appreciate every moment as it happens. BUT---the future is looming --the older I get. I try NOT to worry but I do sometimes. I pray that I die BEFORE I have memory problems or lots of physical problems. I had a friend once who was dying from AIDS.. He told me something I will never forget, saying: "I'm not afraid of dying. I AM afraid of living with the pain." BUT--all of this is not in our hands, is it?

    I never try to dwell in the past --since that is generally not good... SO---let's just live each moment to its fullest RIGHT NOW.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  65. Always thinking of the future seems to be a way of life

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  66. I think in part society molds us into being huge expectation machines and that machine rarely slows down or stops...but when it does, we get to taste the sweetness and beauty of the present. For me, the turning point came as I developed health problems...now, the past is exactly that. The future is something out of focus and filled with uncertainty. The present is all we really have and should enjoy at least something about it every day. It's not hard to do if we just open our eyes and hearts.

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  67. Hi Keith,

    Great post and think we all think ahead to the future instead of living in the now. I need to go and plant out the new plants out and enjoy my today. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you are enjoying the week
    Carolyn

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  68. There are times when it's easier to enjoy the present; and other times, the mind chatter gets in the way. Nature is always a good help and children.

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  69. I am always embracing the here and now, because this is all we are guaranteed! Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet, so we need to live in the moment. Animals are great at teaching us this, we can learn much from them.

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  70. I think it's so easy to dwell in the past or worry/be excited about the future. Planning for and getting excited about the future are good things, I believe. But like you, I want to remember to spend some time in the present, too. Mindfulness meditation has helped me a lot.

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  71. I try to embrace the now as much as possible, but I do think it's only human to reflect and relive the past, as well as look forward to brighter tomorrows.

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  72. Staying organized means thinking about the future, but I truly try to live in the moment. That is all we have!

    Big hugs, honey...

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  73. Keith,
    I do think of the future a lot too, and I reminisce about the past, but I have to say that I embrace the present also......especially when I see a sunrise or a lovely sight or just having a cup of coffee with my brother. I do think it's human nature to think about the future and all that we hope for, but it's so important to embrace just what we have now and appreciate the present, and I thank you for this gentle reminder.

    ~Sheri

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  74. I so needed this today. Thanks for the reminder! I've been spending way too much time as of late worrying about the future. Here's to living in the moment!

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  75. I can only live in the present as even trying to plan the future is something I cannot control. Things can change month to month, week to week, day to day,..we have no real control. But living day by day,,,you can relish in each moment, see life around you, enjoy natures beauty, and, yes,...stop to smell the flowers.

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  76. Hi Keith:) Since my husband's illness we live very much in the moment, and enjoy being together, and just sharing the every day things that are now more important than ever.

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  77. I think it is totally normal. I am always making planes for the future and then forget to just enjoy the moment. I am working on it.

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  78. One of life's conundrums, I think, Keith...why DO we neglect the present moment?
    I honestly hadn't given it a thought until I read this fascinating and thought-provoking post.
    Every moment should be special and amazing, shouldn't it...should be lived to the full.
    From now on, I will try to be more mindful.
    THIS moment has suddenly become much more precious...I was sitting here typing. I paused and gazed out of the open conservatory doors...my garden is full of summer flowers...the Sun is dappling the lawn with moving shadows from the Oak trees.
    Oh such beauty...:)

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  79. I've learned my lesson, living in the future is a constant state of stress, until your body can't take it anymore. It took me a while, but I'm getting better and better at living the now ...sometimes it's difficult, but it's the only way i can live and be happy. I plan nothing or I get anxious, I've learned the hard way that always looking forward to later is a sure way to kill your nervous system. I live now or I or suffer horribly.

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  80. I think that's the greatest piece of wisdom we gather over time--to slow down and see the beauty right before us. That's what this summer has been for me--around the move, being in tighter quarters with the kids, and so many unknown variables concerning the future, it's a time to focus on now. I think that's one of the greatest things I've learned from watching my kids grow, that they only hit each stage once and it's so easy to miss the joys if I'm too busy scrambling about the details.

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  81. I think a lot about all 3. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so tired after the kids went to bed. I have wants to do things, but my energy is drained.

    On our trip my husband was worried because it was the least planned out trip he's ever been on. I said, "Don't worry. You've been busy. Let's just enjoy this. Every place has brochures on things to do." The only thing I wish we would have looked into was Santa Fe. They let off hot air balloons on Tuesdays. I wouldn't want to ride one, but I sure would like to see them in the sky. I know our boys would have to.

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  82. I think we think about the future so much because we already assume that today is ours. We're not even promised the next hour, but we are more focused on what we're going to do tomorrow than what we are doing right now. This sort of mentality applies to so many different areas of our lives from politics to medical science to everything. We aren't looking at what we can do today, we're putting off greatness until tomorrow. We're holding ourselves back when we don't focus on, like you said, the air we're breathing right now.

    I'm just as guilty as everyone for focusing on the future more than I probably should, but I think it's in human nature to crave what we don't have yet. We take today for granted, I think. I really do want to slow down and just take today as it comes. Tomorrow will worry about itself when it gets here. I'm just along for the ride today.

    Awesome post, as usual! Hope you have a great day, my friend!

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  83. I remember when I was in the second year of a three year tour on my ship. I complained to a friend that I couldn't wait to transfer. He chastised me saying that I shouldn't wish my life away.
    That was 34 years ago.
    Sigh......

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  84. I think this is a great point. Many of us are guilty of this. We are always waiting for what is next. I hope as we get older life slows down a bit. I completely agree with you that we have to live in the moment. Sometimes we're so obsessed with living in the future that we forget just how wonderful the moment is that we're in.

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  85. Oh gosh what a great post. I think about all three but really try to stay "in today" for exactly the reasons you said. Each day is a gift given to us and time goes fast. I do think it's human nature to rush ahead, that's why it's harder to stay focused on the "right now". Walking around with a camera always at my side helps me :) Have a great day!

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  86. I think mankind is often escapist by nature whether that be by indulging in distractions we can easily forget the blessings of the present however I think man parishes without a vision. Balance remains one of life's precious treasures to me. 1 Timothy 6: 6...one of my favorites: ...godliness with contentment is great gain...

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  87. I think worrying about time is a sign of someone who appreciates every moment on this awesome planet. As the song goes "and I don't want to miss a thing." Not the past, present nor the future. Live it all!

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  88. I have to remind myself to live in the now all the time!

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  89. this is an excellent post!
    we have always planned for the future-working towards our retirement-etc we always worked way too may hours all those years-we are so guilty of not living in the present. this year with my Mom progressing to severe dementia has been a huge wake up call for me-stop living in the future-right now it is trying to get our home completed-live now-one of the reasons I am diving into my weaving. I learned how to weave in the late 70s when I lived in colorado for a time-wove off and on but always work or something else-no more waiting for me time is now

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  90. I think it's in our nature to plan for the future, and I think it's an important thing to do. If you don't set goals, then the future comes, and nothing is accomplished. Still, it is important to celebrate today and enjoy as many moments as we can.

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  91. It is a balancing act. Taking comfort from the past... not all bad. Looking forward to what will happen in the future provides hope... not at all bad. But neglecting the present. Well, that is the only place we have any power. We can't change the past and the future hasn't happened yet. This reminds me that I have yet to read, but want to read, the book The Power of Now.

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  92. I think it's great you look forward to things. That's kind of what it felt like when I was a kid - always looking forward to things. Now, I probably dwell on the past too much, and don't live nearly enough in the now. But I'm working on it. Hey - there's always tomorrow, right? ;)

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  93. I sometimes neglect the present moments more than I wish I did. It's not a good thing to live in the past or the future, but I do enjoy the planning of things to come and the memories of things that have come and passed all too soon. Maybe that is why I love genealogy so much- I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall to discover answers to all the questions and brick walls I have now about my ancestors. I also am a history lover..I really enjoy learning about the past. Good question!

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  94. I think I'm pretty good at living in the moment - probably because I don't tend to make plans to look forward to! Give it a week, though, and I'll probably be really looking forward to the end of the school holidays!

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  95. I try not to visit the past too often as its riddled with pain, the future seems to hold a bit of a blank for me so I don't think of it all that often other than to wonder what it holds for me. So, I mainly put all of my energies into the here and now as that's what I've got that's the most tangible for me. One day at a time and I try not to waste it.

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  96. I am always wishing the days away while at work.. And then the weekends seem to fly by.. And when I plan a vacation, I wish I was leaving today instead of two months from.. I think is great to have something you are really looking forward to. Enjoy your evening and the week ahead!

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  97. Perfect photo . . . with great thoughts of enjoying the present!
    (Do some dreaming along with the present . . .it will be okay!)

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  98. That's a really good question and while I think most times I am in the present I sometimes dwell in the past and think about the future.

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  99. I do too- look forward to the future. I used to spend hours planning holidays and vacation. But now I'm at my computer a lot (which is not good in itself (trying to finish book ) I feel I'm taking it day by day

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  100. I love planning for the future as it makes me excited ~ But I do agree with you that sometimes I forget to enjoy the here and now ~ And I try not to worry so much about how things will unfold ~ With enough preparation, I want to enjoy things as they come ~ Have a good summer Keith ~

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  101. I try to live in the present. Proof? I didn't realize it was 155 days 'til Christmas! I don't even want to think about it, although I just saw a scene on TV where Christmas decorations were up and I thought, "I wish it was Christmastime." I just want to see the pretty decorations!

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  102. Maybe for some thinking about the future is the only hope they have. In the midst of suffering and pain in the present , the future is the only comfort they can look forward to..

    Ps: I hope Christmas comes fast :)

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  103. I think kids enjoy the now, but as we age we forget, so then have to re-learn. It can be a difficult lesson.

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  104. I try to embrace the here and now, but I also worry about what situation I might be in later because I didn't organize and plan ahead. :(

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  105. Yes we should allow ourselves to embrace the “here and now”:)

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  106. The answer to your question is: YES.

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  107. In our fast-paced world, we are encouraged to plan, plan and prepare some more. With work and family, many really don't have time to smell the roses. . .we just take care of the necessary things. The times we really remember are not the rush-rush of daily living, but those moments when we immerse ourselves into what we are doing, whether writing, spending time with others or just contemplating where we are on our life scale.
    There are no guarantees in life.

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  108. I make a conscious effort to do so, and I hope in doing so it will become habit. Like you though, I've always been a future looker. Working on it. :)

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  109. By spending so much time thinking about the future, I sometimes neglect the “present”. This is true.
    In answer to your question, the answer is yes, because we tend to worry about things that might happen, and we're busy planning for the future (and regretting things of the past) and we don't enjoy the now.
    I'm glad you posted this. I was going to say that I focus on the now, but as I write this, I'm realizing that I too, worry about the future, about how I want things to develop.

    Thanks for the reminder. For example, it's summer; i'm planning mytrip to see my family in November, when I should be relishing in the beauty of now.

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  110. Im a believer we never know how many times we are goinh to live.I hope not yet buy I can die tomorrow.we are on God's hands.
    I try to live the present and enjoy it!
    I pray.i work.I wait.
    I try to make lovely the moments I share with my mom and my kids and hubby.
    Sometimes Im tired but is normal.
    Some times we need pray more.
    Others only we are in God.
    I told you I love christmas too ;)
    I was cleaning my cupboard and think this would be perfect for Christmas.
    Haha. But anyway the time go fast!
    So I thknk Christmas is no far Keith lol
    A big hug for you dear;)

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  111. I haven't looked through your (many!) other comments but wonder if you have read Eckhart Tolle. "The Power of Now" was the flavour of the week for months :) and I became a bit tired of him, but I have to confess his idea did enter my thinking and slowly, along with other life events, worked its way into how I try (and mostly succeed, I think) to live now.

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  112. I feel like I'm more focused on the future than the present and I kinda forgot more the present. Too much thoughts put into the future that sometimes, it stresses me out. Great post!

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  113. Yes, I do think it is hard sometimes to focus on the present. The past and future can definitely pull us to them mentally. I often do remind myself to enjoy the here and now!

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  114. We're such a future oriented society, especially in the Western world. Everything is about preparing for "the future." Yet we're never there, by definition. It's a twisted way to live. Thanks for the reminder of what's important. All we have is this moment.

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  115. It's easy to romanticize the past and daydream about the future, but the present is a lot harder. It's demands things of you and wants you to do them now. Some choices are difficult and it's hard to see the sense in the pattern until you can look back at it and see it's beauty. Which then gets me to wondering about what wonderful thing will happen next. And before you know it the Present is kicking and screaming again because he hates to be ignored and refuses to let me sleep and daydream through it.

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  116. We ignore the gifts of the present worrying about the past and the future. Perhaps, we should all learn to live in NOW.

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  117. Mostly because we don't realize the value of things unless they are forever lost to us. Like the present moment, it feels like an infinity. And blink! it's gone. Forever. The future too, remains equally elusive. The present is all we have with no hope of ever reclaiming the past nor any chance of fast-forwarding life to future. And yet, these two elusive places are the ones our minds inhabit. What a shame.

    I do it a lot because my present seems way too dreary and hopeless to me right now. At every turn and with every action, I try to escape my present reality and build one in future. But I am amending that. Adopting a sort of Zen-like approach to life, focusing every ounce of attention and energy to the present moment which is the only real and tangible thing.

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  118. Gorgeous photo! It is easy to dream about the future when the present seems to be at a standstill. There is a lot to be said about making the most of everyday.

    Julie

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  119. I think it depends on one person to another. I have always spent a whole lot of time just thinking and thinking about things. There were times (in fact, there still are) when I was up all night long thinking one thing. And that's sad because it wasted my precious present. Anyway now I have improved a whole lot in terms of thinking. I think you have to keep yourself busy so that you don't end up spending a day just thinking. I don't think its human nature because it depends upon the kind of person one is. But yes worrying about things is sort of a human nature or maybe we have inculcated this in our lifestyles. Anyway I like your blog. It gave me some much needed food for thought. Visit mine too. :)

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  120. Never wish away a single moment. That is a wasted life.

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  121. i think it's nice to reminisce about the good memories, think about the future and enjoy the present as well :)

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  122. I think it is human nature to plan for the future and revisit the past. We learn so many things from doing both, like acceptance, patience, and fortitude. Sometimes the present is just, well, boring. Being stuck in traffic, performing the same old chores, our minds start to wander. We create our world by envisioning the future and re-thinking the past. Of course, some days (moments) are well worth staying in the present for, but call me a 'dreamer', I can't stay there if it is not worth the time. xo Karen

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  123. I most certainly do think that people in general forget to embrace the present. Although I feel you have more of a positive approach than most people. I feel most people rather than looking forward, get hung up on the past and can't let go of the past. Balance in all things.

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  124. I've been trying to practice living in the moment for the past 20 years. Some days are easier than others.

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  125. I think you're onto something Keith. This really seems to be a human condition. sometimes when I'm worrying too much my husband likes to remind me "do you think the cat is worrying about what's going to happen next week?". Nope, and he's not stressing about what he did the week before either. Animals always seem to live right in the moment and I tend to think they're much happier for it.

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  126. In the world we're living in, it's very hard not to think about the future and neglect the present. For me, however, I like to live in my own little world! Just saying!

    Carpe diem :)

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  127. I think we are encouraged not to be in the here and now - that way we always want more stuff, more lenses, new cars etc - its a plot!

    This is also true when fishing - you can't catch fish all the time - so you need to be able to see what else is happen as well.

    Sorry about the much delayed reply - I've been in the UK for a month and I let the blog sit on the back burner - normal service will resume soon!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  128. I totally agree ... I am always saying ... Sunday I have to do this, Monday is swimming lessons, Wednesday Papa is picking Brookie up ... etc etc etc ... only when I am on vacay do I seem to live in the NOW :)

    PS .... I don't think you saw my post on FB last week ... Thursday was six months since I have smoked a cigarette -- (oh wait ... don't count that as me living in the past!! LOL!!!) :)

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  129. I try to be very much in the present moment (writing haiku helps!) but it is necessary to do some planning for the future and only natural to think about the past sometimes too, it's balance we need

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  130. Future and past are part of life and we can’t live without thinking about them. I too have fear about my future and I am certain it’s going to be tough... but I don’t give much thought to them to make my present anxious or felt sorrow! I always believe the best is yet to come, which takes me forward in life :)

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  131. It's an odd thing we humans do.. but I need to make myself remember to live in the present.. and rarely succeed at that. I spend too much time worrying about the future and going over the past. Animals always seem to live in the NOW. They're much smarter than we are. ;)

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  132. A good walk around outside during the rain allows me to regroup and organize my thoughts, and bring me back into the present.

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  133. Sometimes my anxiety makes me think about nothing but worse case scenarios that'll happen at some point in the future! This is not a good or healthy way to be, so I practise mindfulness meditation whenever I can.

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  134. you bring up a good point, we should enjoy the present more. Everytime I look at my dog I think of how much he lives for the present moment- it's so cute.

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  135. I'm trying so hard to break this habit right now!!! I'm slowly getting little better about it. For me though, it's just because of what I'm going through right now. I'm sure it's pretty typical to be excited about Christmas every year! Haha :) Or counting down the days to a vacation or a big move to another country!!! I think people just need things to look forward to. It's human nature. Sadly, we tend to lose focus on the simple things in life and live life on fast forward. :(

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  136. Intriguing!

    Thanks for coming by to read.

    Have a great week.

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  137. i think in many ways we usually get caught up in either looking to the future...and what our hopes and dreams are...or stuck in the past...concerned with our memories and where we have come from...being present takes discipline, for sure....

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  138. I think it's human nature to just sometimes let time pass them by, without making the most of the present. I do think that wherever you are, and whatever you do, there is always something to captivate in some way, and change your day, if only we ourselves, or sometimes outside influences would allow. I try to enjoy as many aspects of each day as I can, however small.

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  139. I have a good friend that always wishes her weeks away because she's always looking forward to the weekends. I've told her many times to stop wishing her life away! I do plan ahead somewhat...where to live and why?...retirement accounts...what to be when I grow up, now that I've raised my son. LOL And I always look forward to Christmas! I LOVE hearing Christmas music, it's so happy!
    You have some of the best questions! Happy today to you!!

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  140. I'm of the opinion that you need to spend time in all three: the past, the present, the future. If you only live in the present, you don't cultivate much depth and you can become somewhat directionless for the future. We learn from the past, but only if we spend a little time there in review.

    I agree, though, if you don't savor the moment, you can miss living in a different way. Like I say, I think you really need to spend time looking back, enjoying the moment, and looking ahead.

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  141. I tend to visit the past, present and future but, overall I think it is better to dwell in the here and now as tomorrow is uncertain.

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  142. At my age of 65...and various circumstances out of my control...I finally learned that today IS my happiness...I look forward to an event such as my grands coming to visit this weekend...but i live in this moment. never thought I could do it...but I did :)

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  143. We are creatures of habit. We get so used to planning for the future, and dreaming of days gone by, that we do not even realize we are neglecting the here and now.

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  144. Such sage advice Keith!
    I'm always focused on the future.... the day when my daughter, her french husband and 3 little ones come back to New Zealand to live!
    But you're so right, the NOW is where our focus should be and making the most of every minute of every day...
    A wonderful vista and vision! - thank you!

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  145. I think it's something that we learn when we grow up. We watch everybody around us do it so we learn that's how we're supposed to do it. I'm pretty sure that native Americans or Australians, to just give two examples, don't do that. They learn to live in the here and now. All we need to do is change our mindframe, but that's always so hard, right? When it's actually the easiest to just live in the here and now - the easiest and most beautiful. Let's start reminding us to live the now more often - to fully enjoy life and everything it's giving us this very moment. I love you!

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  146. I have learnt to embrace "the here and now"... it has been a long way.

    I think there are many reasons that explain why we are prone to neglect the present moment: many of them are cultural but some of them are part - I guess- of our own nature.

    The impact of the past on our lives and the uncertainty about the future are something that we cannot avoid easily but our culture helps to reproduce it all. Indeed, social speechs, media messages, marketing strategies etc. are often focused on them so is not easy to think otherwise but we can do it... and it will be very rewarding.

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  147. I love the Walt Whitman quote, it goes along well with how you expressed the importance of being in the moment. It's similar to the quote "Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things." All about appreciating the here and now!

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