Each morning that I have awoken in 2019, these three words have been top of mind.
While the construct of impermanence might be unsettling in some ways, I’m finding great peace in this notion.
As I reflect on my life thus far, it has been filled with countless moments. Moments of joy. Moments of pain. Moments of boredom. Moments of excitement. Moments of every color, shape, sound, taste, and feeling. An infinite number of moments. Not one of those moments has endured without end.
Each of these moments has been situated within a greater context — my life, and the life of others. My life has connected with many. In some regards those connections have been frequent and extended in duration. In other regards, connections that once existed, exist no longer.
My current daily existence includes contact with two magnificent children, a remarkable husband, and two adorable puglets. We live in the same home. We go our separate ways each weekday for a period of time and rejoin at the end of each day. We travel together. We laugh together. We cry together. This is what we do today. In this present collection of moments.
Tomorrow will be different. Not the literal tomorrow of the day after today. But the metaphorical tomorrow of what lay ahead beyond this present moment.
I have no control. I cannot slow down time. I cannot freeze all that is good. I cannot reach into the future and prevent heartache.
I will age. My husband will age. Our children will age. Our dogs will age.
This moment — fleeting. A collection of moments — transient. A lifetime of moments — temporary.
This recent perspective has filled me with appreciation for what exists in the moment I’m in.
Today, I drove my children and their friends to school. While in the car, my ears tickled with every juvenile utterance. Why? Because I know that they will grow up and one day they will not need me to drive them to school.
Today, I worked in a calm office on presentation slides for several hours without a single interruption. While agonizing over each page’s design structure and the phrasing of ideas, I noticed the quiet and breathed in the gift of focus. Why? Because I know that tomorrow brings the busyness of a photo shoot and the follow up it entails.
Today, I wished all the educators with whom I recently worked, a great first school day of the 2019 year. As I received their warm replies, I gave thanks for the connections the past five years forged. Why? Because I know that circumstances can interrupt the dialogue flow amongst friends.
Today, I sat and ate my lunch without distraction. As I ate my falafel and hummus, I reminded myself that today I didn’t have to worry about being able to feed myself. Why? Because I know that someday I will likely need assistance to eat.
Today, I picked up extra eggs on my way home at 7pm this evening. As I waited in the cashier line, I considered how lucky it is that at this hour a store is open and filled with items to meet any craving or need. Why? Because our neighborhoods might someday face a crisis which depletes access to abundant resources.
Today, upon arriving home, I kissed each member of my family and squeezed each one extra tight. As we embraced, I took a moment to visualize my heart touching theirs. Why? Because I will not always be able to hugs those I love on a daily basis.
This recent perspective has also permitted me to release negativity from my heart.
Today, I did not worry about what tomorrow brings. Yesterday was today before it was yesterday. Several months ago, I was unemployed. Fretting about not having a job, did not make getting a job possible. Worrying about tomorrow will not keep me employed. Hard work, continuous learning, and building relationships — will.
Today, I did not harbor animosity to those with whom I’ve conflicted in the past. While in those past moments, the pain was visceral. The wounds were fresh and my heart, raw. Here I stand today. Unbroken. Rebuilding. Stronger than the previous version. No matter what causes my heart to feel hurt — I will ultimately transcend that suffering through emotional repair.
Today, I did not mourn what was lost. To have seen you every day. To have looked into your eyes; to have known your soul. To have laughed at your stories. To have known I was seen. Some moment changed the order of the collection of moments in our mutual worlds — just as it did when it led me to you. The past was the present, the present unfolded, and now here is where I am. You are not here. But you were. What a blessing to have shared that moment!
Let us never forget.
Everything. Is. Temporary.