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Live in the moment, or...


I just saw a post on facebook that said, “Live in the moment.” It has sparked this thought that I’ve been wondering about recently. A popular meme says, “live each day as if it were your last, because it might be.” Is that possible? How do we reconcile the idea of living in the moment with goal-planning?


One thing I have noticed with living in Roatan, is that our brains quickly turn something which is new and interesting into the mundane. When I first arrived to Roatan, I would eat my breakfast every morning out on the balcony, taking in the rising sun and the ocean. But, as the days turned to months, I stopped doing that and began eating at the dining room table. I justified this in my mind that this way I could look out and see the ocean, but it gave me space to eat. Although the reality is then I’d check the news, Facebook, and play wordle. Perhaps it is the cultural need to always be doing something. Or perhaps it is that the thrill of the ocean was no longer quite as thrilling? I’m not sure.


Another aspect of this that I’ve been thinking about is how long can we sustain activity? I have noticed that there are days when I wonder whether I should go dive during down times. In my head, I remind myself that I’m here for a limited amount of time and need to take advantage of this ability to dive when it will not exist (at least with anywhere near the frequency) when I return to DC. Most days this has worked to get me out. I really do love diving. But, if I were going to be here forever, would the same work? Probably not. At home there have been times when I want to go for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim and yet I talk myself out of it, because “I’m tired. I’ll go tomorrow.” What’s the difference? I know my time in Roatan is time-limited. While I suspect I’ll be back, I don’t know when.


I think what has me puzzled is that I do believe that we should try to live life to the fullest. But, I also believe that it is perfectly acceptable, and in fact important, to take breaks. I think we have a cultural obsession to always “be busy.” But, yet by constant movement, we often miss much of the small joys of life. I’m not quite sure how to find a balance between those two things. I don’t want to be a “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” person. On the other hand, I don’t want to look back at my life and worry that I wasted what might be my one chance at life.


Back in my college years, I met this amazing man who turned in to a good friend. Unfortunately, we’ve lost touch over the years. However, I always admired his sense of self confidence and his humor. One thing he always used to tell me is, “life is too short to have regret.” I wrote it down. I’ve tried to live by that. So maybe in the end of things, we just have to live the best life we know how, and not get too worried about what is “right.” Are we living a life that at the end of the day, we’ll be proud of?

I think for me, one other thought is tied into living life to the fullest, versus taking breaks, versus goal-planning: simplicity. One thing I have realized living out of a suitcase for the past couple of years, is that at the end of the day, I need very little to have a happy life. It’s not “stuff.” I don’t need belongings to be happy. I’ve worn the same week’s worth of clothes for the past four months. Does it bother me? Not a bit. Now – this isn’t to say that I don’t understand that clothes/fashion, etc. bring people joy. I get that. Fashion is a form of art. But, for me, the need to have a ton of belongings has dissipated as I have learned the freedom in living a more simplified life.


At the end of the day, what brings you happiness? Are you living your life in furtherance of that or are you simply going through the motions of living? This experience in Roatan has helped me understand that my day-to-day life needs to have time with loved ones, beauty, maybe time outside being active, time being stimulated by diversity (of people, of thoughts, of life) and probably not a whole lot more. But, I suppose in order to get there, I need to have financial security and there is part of me that really does need to feel connected to humanity – meaning something bigger than me. And there you have it. The eight pillars of wellness all blended in: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, vocational, environmental, intellectual and social. Turns out – for me, they really are all important. Now to figure out how to get them when I’m not living in this part-time paradise. We shall see.

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SHiNE RVA
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08 ביוני 2023

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07 ביוני 2023

I hear you Jen. To me, a "full" life doesn't equate to "busy." Instead the question is whether I'm feeling fulfilled. I've spent too long being busy and unfulfilled. And I agree with your assessments of breaks, but I think of it more of leaning into something new (or renewed). It's the newness or out-of-the-ordinary of these time-limited experiences that push us to make the most of them. Your example of sitting on the terrace for breakfast resonated with me. When it ceases to be a new-ish experience, I don't feel a need to constantly do it. But that doesn't lessen my appreciation for it, and doesn't mean I won't do it again. The motivation has just shifted to some…

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SHiNE RVA
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