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Don't miss the now

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The wonderful thing about traveling by public transportation is that you can use the travel time to read. Musing on what I had read while continuing to travel by car - I eagerly await the self-driving car - my thoughts came to the temporary and fragile nature of life. And on my own mortality. So that I thought to myself on my deathbed and the question occurred to me, if I were fortunate enough to be able to have it, what my last wish would be. That last wish would be saying goodbye to my loved ones. How I would love to still be able to hug my children and tell them how proud I am of them, how much I love them.

However, a new thought suddenly jumped in: why wait until the last moment (if this is going to occur at all consciously)? Why not start right now? So I began to write a letter to each of my children about the indelible impression they make on me. About the love I feel for them, but don't always know how to fully express. About the mistakes I make, and the tears I feel burning when I think about how much I want them to feel loved. About how they are developing, each in their own way, according to their own being. To be as they are meant to be, and therefore necessarily different. That I hope they will find their purpose in the Highest Purpose.

Of course you don't have to write a letter for this, you can pass it along in daily life. But being intentional about it from time to time and taking the time to appreciate and acknowledge your loved ones gives that more conscious presence in daily life. It is not a "message in a bottle" that hopefully one day will arrive, but a living message. And that message is not in living a perfect life. Not in no more mistakes and being in control.

While cleaning out the study, I came across "Moments" by Jorge Luís Borges. I had once put that up to remind myself that a productive life is beautiful, but not if it is full of avoiding risk, not being able to enjoy, not loving. 'Because, in case you don't already know, that's what life is made of: moments. Don't miss the now.' It is not in the perfectly mapped out life, insofar as it exists at all, but in living consciously, too feel alive. A loving life. Do the things you wish you had done "in hindsight now. This is the moment.

Moments - Jorge Luís Borges

If I could live my life again
I would try to make more mistakes in the next life.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be more foolish than I have been,
in fact, I would take very few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic, take more risks,
I would travel more, I would watch sunsets more,
I would climb more mountains, I would swim in rivers more.
I would go to more places I've never been,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more real problems and fewer imagined ones.
I was one of those persons who lived wisely and productively
every minute of his life.

Of course I had moments of joy, but if I could return I would try to experience only good moments. Because, in case you don't already know, that's what life is made of: moments. Don't miss the now.

I was one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer, a bag of hot water, an umbrella and a parachute.
If I could live again, I would travel lighter. If I could live again, I would walk barefoot from the beginning of early spring to the end of autumn. I would get on the carousel more often, watch the dawn more often, play with children more often. If I had life in front of me again. But as you can see, I am 85 years old and I know I am going to die.


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton


4 thoughts on “Mis niet het nu”

  1. Don't miss the now: I'm trying my best...Oh no, I think the idea is to try a little less my best and enjoy more! Happy weekend. And wonderful that you wrote your children that letter.

  2. Suddenly the title of a little book comes to mind: 'Nothing Must, Everything May.' What I think you are referring to is not so much about doing your best, but about having to do less.

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