This Is The Only Moment

This morning, Bill @ drbillwooten.com touched off a train of thought with another one of his fantastic quotes – this from Ernest Hemingway – “And if there’s not any such thing as a long time, nor the rest of your life, nor from now on, but there is only now, why then now is the thing to praise and I am very happy with it.”

Assuming that one is living a life of relative physical and emotional comfort, I think being happy takes guts.  It seems to be far easier to ascribe one’s frame of mind to the actions or inactions of others, the elements of living that remain decidedly out of our control and/or historic wrongs that we suffered from which it seems likely we will never recover.  I know you have met people who have affixed a figurative piece of velcro to the back of their hand and permanently placed it against their forehead.  Lots of sighs.  Slews of “if onlys”.  Eeyore on steroids (and I say that with affection, for I am a huge Eeyore fan).

images

There’s a lot of conversational fodder in looking at your life and finding happiness contingent upon something or someone else.  Life as a perpetual “if….then” statement.  The operative word for me is ‘perpetual’, for arguably there are times when we are anticipating, hoping, planning, etc.  But all the time?  Are we always waiting to react?  Are we never responsible for initiating?  If one believes the latter, then what in the world can we claim personal responsibility for?  What do we get to claim as ours?

Happiness is a challenge, for it means you own it.  It’s on you.  No one else.  Your boss can be impossible (I’ve had those), people may not offer what you are hoping for, someone may ride your bumper during an interminable rush hour.  Maybe your kids don’t get you or you don’t get them.  Perhaps the list of irritations far outweigh the list of delights.  I get it.  But I own it.  My lousy moods are mine – rarely do I blame someone else.  My happiness – which can certainly be fostered and enhanced by the phenomenal people around me – is also mine.  Because at the end of the day, I’m the one in this moment.  Our perceptions of the present moment are not the same, even if we’re sitting here having a cup of coffee together.   However I interpret this time is my job.  And I’m ok with that – because I can adjust and recalibrate – I don’t want someone else to do it for me.

When I was a young adult, my mom would repeatedly admonish “You never listen to me.  Well, you listen to me, but you end up doing what you want to do anyway.”  She was right.  I asked her many years later whether she really would have wanted to take responsibility for my actions – a question answered by her silence.  It’s easier to point a finger out, but honestly?  You’re the one who makes your day.

Why do I post this today?  Because I needed the reminder.  Because the morning broke grey and indifferent and I felt my body concede, bending to the power of a day that didn’t give a damn.  Joints in active rebellion.  One look in the mirror and all bets on a good hair day were off.  The Sirs decided to bark passionately at absolutely nothing and my head began to feel like it was in a vice.  The kitchen still looked post-apocalyptic.  This was my moment.  And unless I kicked myself in the butt, the day was going to continue to spiral down with alacrity.  So Bill’s quote brought me back to baseline.  If this is all I’ve got, it’s fine by me.  And though I wish that all your moments are golden, I know that some may not meet that threshold.  So when they don’t, consider that this is all we know for sure.  Right now – and it’s yours.  For that reason alone, it deserves at least a smile, and perhaps a shake of the head.

 

59 comments on “This Is The Only Moment

  1. Lovely reminder to live in the now and banish those if onlys. Eeyore on steroids :D

  2. Deborah Jerome says:

    if Eeyore were on steroids he’d be Eeyroid. Carpe diem, baby. And feel better.

  3. russtowne says:

    I soaked up every luxurious luscious word of your post, loving your writing style and the light and breezy song with it’s important audio and visual messages. Bravo, Mimi!
    Russ

  4. Andy says:

    Great post. Well written and thought provoking…yes, you made me think. Dangerous thing.

  5. Becky says:

    Your posts always remind me to look on the brighter side and for that I thank you.

  6. Dr Bill says:

    Wonderfully stated!

  7. Rhonda says:

    Mwah! Yes…a much needed kick in the knickers. Thank you my trusty SK…forever grateful for your wisdom, your truth as you see it, and your heart….xoxo

  8. John Shyer says:

    So true, Mimi. Very best wishes for the holidays. John

    >________________________________ > From: Waiting for the Karma Truck >To: jdshyer@yahoo.com >Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:35 PM >Subject: [New post] This Is The Only Moment > > > > WordPress.com >mimijk posted: “This morning, Bill @ drbillwooten.com touched off a train of thought with another one of his fantastic quotes – this from Ernest Hemingway – “And if there’s not any such thing as a long time, nor the rest of your life, nor from now on, but there is only n” >

  9. Liz says:

    Mimi! You’re reading my mind :-) Appreciate your post more than I can say. Have spent the last week or so trying to reconcile what seems like a tough year and my more-often-crabby-than-not mood with the fact that I’m a happy person. I love that I still consider myself “happy,” as it attests to the “joy” I have in my heart as a Christian (sorry, gag alert. Don’t mean it as sappy as it sounds. Hoping you get what I mean.), but then I always feel bad for grumbling all the time. This mom thing has really been kicking my butt as my girls are both having their share of issues this year. (though who am I kidding: the mom thing has kicked my butt from Day 1) But your words make sense to my heart. I can be unhappy and uncomfortable and want things to go differently and still be joyful or at least be me. And that’s good enough for now for sure. Have said it before, but love how you articulate things. Keep on keepin’ on and I love Eeyore (and Hemingway), too.

    p.s. Hope you’re dressed warmly today because It’s snowing on your blog 0-:

    • mimijk says:

      Would that we had a little snow – it’s a balmy fifty degrees, which makes absolutely no sense to my enjoyment of the season. Although my sons are grown, the days of feeling like I was just overwhelmed with feelings that I was screwing things up royally are still fresh in my mind. Thus my view that kids grow up in spite of us not because of us.. ;-) The reality – to the good or to the ill – is that this passes far more quickly than we can even wrap our arms around. And honestly Liz, you put out so much joy and goodness, humor and delight, I think you’re very in touch with your beautiful Christian heart (and I don’t mean to sound sappy either).

      • Liz says:

        Thanks, Mimi. I think I will find you on fb for further conversation as I could really use the perspective of someone on the other side of raising young kids. You had boys, so maybe different stories than girls, but I do appreciate what you say about them growing up (and turning out well, I hope) in spite of us, not because. Seems so many demands on young kids today. How to parent successfully? Feel like I stumble through each day.

        But hey, if I can convey all the lovely things you say that I do at food for fun, then something still works. Lots of snow over there tonight! (not like your snow, though–you can drink mine :-D )

        Oh, and I meant to say earlier that your hair looks great!

      • mimijk says:

        Please do contact me on fb – would love to ‘talk’…I so remember feeling like I must be the only one screwing it all up, only to repeat the same things over and over…
        And thanks for the compliment about my hair – of course the picture is kind.

  10. KDKH says:

    Thank you. I get criticized occasionally for not micro- managing my children’s lives. Thanks for the reminder that they are strong and capable. They don’t need my management. Whew! Maybe I’m doing well after all.

  11. 3bones says:

    Phenomenal writing and a great quote, Mimi. I loved the fit of the Mraz song as well. Thanks for putting your spin on the quote. I love quotes that make you stop and think and then find a way to apply them to your own life. If we continually ask ourselves the hard questions, and search the ways to answer them, that helps us to own our happiness as well. And if we own it and it’s on us personally, then we accept the responsibility for our own growth in happiness as well as the other areas of our lives. I really enjoyed the way your post made me think about taking personal responsibility for being in the moment … thanks …

    • mimijk says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I too love when a quote takes me places I hadn’t considered going. And understanding that my frame of mind is mine to own – in its glory and in its not-so-glorious is both empowering and I think for some, a little scary. I’m so glad this resonated with you too!

  12. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Yep, it’s a choice. And we can turn it around in a moment. Wonderful post, Mimi!

  13. Bonnie says:

    How have I never heard this JM song before? I LOVE it! And more importantly, you just took the mundane ‘when life gives you lemons’ and ‘what if this is as good as it gets’ and turned them into into a beautiful and layered and thought provoking – and challenging reminder – message for all of us!! How you do this…?? And at a time of the year when we are more than likely to be feeling too busy for the moment, when right now has so many great ones!! beautiful my friend. xoox

    • mimijk says:

      Oh BonBon thank you..I didn’t turn it on its head – I just bopped myself in the head with a reminder that I needed. I LOVE that you liked this one…but love you more than that for sure…xoxo

  14. I am someone who likes to live in the now, because now is all that really matters

  15. IAMTHECAPT says:

    Another home run. I was speaking with someone at work today who is turning 30 years old tomorrow. I told him pretty much the same thing; it only took me 50, out of my almost 60 years to realize it.

  16. jmgoyder says:

    “Being happy takes guts” – now that really got to me – so true Mimi. Wonderful post.

  17. Let’s just say I sat back after reading your post yesterday, and it lingered,and it’s still lingering. Bravo Mimi.

  18. We’re responsible for our own happiness? *GASP* That means I could wake up in the morning and decide…to be happy? I’m with you–that in and of itself is reason for celebration!! I never understand why people are so willing to relinquish control of their well-being to things they can’t control at all. Self-determination…with a dash of Eeyore…I’m there…

  19. that video was suPER!! When I figgered out what was what there, I was excited! You gotta know I was…I just never thought of that abstract…and wow…what a door that opens. :)

    So colorful and uplifting and fun. I especially like the manipulations of the “E” toward the end there, the seemingly pointless repositioning of the bottom rectangle to the top–the falling over and righting of…er…the first letter (don’t want to spoil it!)

    Your post: truth. At the end of the day–and all parts therein–you are always in your own company. No one but yourself owns your views…no one cares (other than immediate family etc) if you are unhappy.

    This is what I tell myself, too. It’s gotten kind of lost in the Holiday thing…but last night I remembered to be grateful, and during the day, too. It’s when you feel the least grateful (and most stressed) that it’s good to act as if you are, anyway.

    A great reminder to chill, and look around at all the good stuff, too. :)

    • mimijk says:

      The holidays distract us – and a reminder is needed for us all (me particularly ’cause I wrote it… ;-) )
      I too loved the video – and the playing around with the letter ‘e’. It made me happy. So glad it made you happy too!! hugs, m

  20. Fran says:

    I love Eeyore but I wouldn’t want to be him. That’s exactly the way I feel about some people in my life. Your post helped me to assess where ai stand in the happiness area. For the most part, I find myself to be happy. I try to think with gratitude whenever I can find something to be grateful for. The people around me definitely affect my mood, but like you said, it’s up to me on how I will react or don’t react. What a balancing act life is. Sometimes it’s harder to be happy just because of the lack of sun and daylight (like lately). That may be why the holidays are this time of year (to distract us from ourselves). Happy Holidays Mimi! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful writing and insight. Xbox Fran

    • mimijk says:

      Isn’t it true Fran? Life is a balancing act, and it felt like I needed a reminder more than anyone that my choices determine how I feel. The holidays are distracting – in more ways than good I think, but some times we just have to kickback and take stock. Happy Holidays dear friend!! xox, m

  21. Fantastic message. Love the video clip :)

  22. Hi sweet friend, a little slow on the uptake on this one, but no less enamored of the message. You have such a way of hitting the mark, honey, saying just what needs to be said with such grace and humility and wisdom. We all have our moments, of that there is no doubt, but as you say, we also all have *right now* and it’s within our power to decide how we see that moment…. so why not ‘scrounge for that silver lining?’ Just love this post, and you. xoxo, l

  23. Carolann says:

    Wow! Great post and great video!

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