My View, Mel Hewitt: Enjoy the present, not just the future

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Has anyone told you yet how many weeks it is until Christmas?

No? Well they will – but it won’t be me. They say tomorrow never comes, so why do we spend so much time thinking about it, worrying about it or planning for it?

There seems to be an epidemic of ‘anticipationitis’ in the 21st century, almost as though the present isn’t quite where we want to be, better is always on the horizon. How many times have we heard ourselves or others talk about some exciting future event, pulling it towards us eagerly as an antidote for a perceived unpalatable present.

Waiting for something better or ‘luck’ to change sometimes becomes a default position in the mind and can result in a life not lived in the now and therefore not really lived at all.

All any of us have is the moment we are living in, but how difficult it can be to process this fact in a practical and life enhancing way.

How many of us have waited – or are still waiting – for just the right moment to start the diet, learn something new, contact an old friend or do something about a job we’re unhappy in?

How many times in this modern world are the choice we are faced with sometimes overwhelming? Whether a university course, wedding dress, budgeting or the lowest fat option in a ready meal, we are making decisions large and small all the time.

There is a fabulously funny and yet totally true moment in one of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books, where a key character breaks down in a supermarket when faced with too much choice.

Running on empty in terms of emotional resilience has a direct effect on the way we live our lives and cope with the large and small stuff, bearing in mind of course that most things are the small stuff and not life and death.

Feeling disconnected with the present and therefore not making the most of it and – by default – not building in a positive way for the future, can lead to emotional and mental discord.

Mindfulness is something that has become more well known and practised, as well as being a ‘catch-all’ term for many that expresses a certain attitude to life that promotes serenity, calm and wellbeing.

It is for me about connecting with the here and now, with people, emotions, surroundings and all that is positive. This can then change the way you deal with life and its stresses, and complexities.

For example a problem becomes a challenge, a challenge an opportunity. Being in the present means to me that while you can smile and look forward to what life may or may not ultimately bring you, you are not missing what you already have.

As John Lennon said – life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.