A cup with a paint brush in it and another paint brush beside it

Time is something I’ve been deeply grappling with as of late. 

I feel like each one of us hits a sobering moment in our lives where we realize some major events we looked forward to are already behind us. For me, reminiscing on moments in my rear-view mirror feels both heartwarming and terrifying. 

Those moments were well lived, have been remembered fondly and are a catalyst for my present-day life. However, recognizing time passed, the days gone by and that what lies ahead is still being written makes me want to live with unwavering intention today. This way, in the next 20 years, I can look back with peace and fond nostalgia—gathering and creating a collection of moments well-lived.

Recognizing time passed, the days that are gone and that what lies ahead is still being written makes me want to live with unwavering intention today.

When I think about what sparks that beautiful ache in my soul, looking back on the moments in my life so far, it is not the things I did necessarily. It is not the amount of time I spent at the beach with friends or on some sort of metaphorical “Cloud 9.” Yes, some of those moments come to mind, but so does the hug I shared with my dad after he found out his mom passed away and the deepest moments of uncertainty when I sat with my best friends. 

I’ve realized time is not just well spent when we are 100 percent guaranteed to experience joy and happiness. The common thread in the moments I look back on with fond nostalgia is love, intention and presence. Whether I’m lost in a moment of pure bliss or moving through a moment of deep sadness, the times I look back on with beautiful longing are the moments I allowed myself to be fully present and that’s what makes it worth it—that’s what got me here.

So as I look forward to how I want to spend the rest of my time on earth, the only criteria I have and the only thing that matters to me is to be present

As I look forward to how I want to spend the rest of my time on earth, the only criteria I have and the only thing that matters to me is to be present

I want to be present in full for the ups and downs. I want to be present in full for my friends and strangers alike when I can. I want to be present for myself.

I want to be present for every moment I am given because as I look back on what has been a full life so far, I don’t see certain moments as more valuable. Every moment when I was fully present has created the beautiful mosaic that is my life. Not because it was all perfect, but because it was real and it was my life.

All of it, the whole compilation of moments in my life, is what got me here. So moving forward, I’d like to greet each moment I’m given with the awareness that if I spend my time focused on love and intention and just being present, then 20 years from now I’ll be able to say, “I tried, failed, succeeded, loved and lost, but it was all worth it.”  

Have you been intentional about living every day to its fullest? How so?

Image via Taylor Roades, Art via Ash Wilson

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