I caught myself thinking, as I folded laundry this evening, that I want this day to end. I want this week to hurry up as I have something in the future I want to do, a place I want to go.
The shock of that thought got me to thinking and writing. What am I doing? I am cheating myself out of the present (even though I am involved in mundane, trivial work). I am not appreciating my moment by thinking and wishing for the future. I want my present gone so I can have my idea of what is coming next.
How foolish am I to trade a sure thing, today, for a maybe (at best) in another day. Yet I am sure I am not the only one doing this. How often do we live in the past which is just a memory, or in the future which is just an idea, at the expense of our present.
All that is real is now. What is happening this one and only moment is the best we have at any given time (play on words intended).
When the doctors have said they are having a challenging time fixing us, and maybe can’t fix us, we all too often disregard our present for the idea of a better tomorrow.
To quote Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman, “BIG mistake”. Many of us spend the last six months of our life going to doctors appointments, having treatments that make us so sick we can’t function other than sleep and sit in a chair as the the gradual withdrawal of approaching death sets in, then we are gone. Our life is over and we have missed one of the greatest gifts gradual death has to give us--time.
During this time, this last year or six months of our life, we could be making each day special, make it really count in our book of life. Not being fixable is a gift, a gift of time, the recognition of our present, to do and say that which we want and need to do and say. Unfortunately, most people as they approach the end of their life put their living on hold and opt for a cured future even when that future is in serious jeopardy.
I’m not saying all treatments are futile. I am saying we need to know our disease, research the statistics regarding cure, remission or simply tumor reduction. Breathing extension is at what cost? The question becomes is just breathing really living and am I willing to pay the price? I am not referring to just the loss of dollars but the loss of energy, stamina, the loss of the quality of living. What are we giving up in the present in exchange for what kind of future? Sometimes the suffering in the present is not equal to the losses in the future. Sometimes the present could be lived more fully than our idea of the future.
Something more about The Future...
A Time To Live, Liviing With A Life Threatening Illness offers ways of making the most of this gift of time. It also gives an broad outline of what to expect in the months, weeks and days of the final act of living with illness. You may find this extremely helpful book here: https://www.bkbooks.com/shop/time-live-living-life-threatening-illness