Cherish the Present
Sometimes, I get so caught up in the past and the future that I forget to cherish the present. There’s nothing wrong about letting your mind wander off to the next big thing or the memories of the past, but if you do that, you miss out on all of the things happening around you right now.
Hovering in the past
There are the days I look back on really hard or painful moments, and I may be transported back to those places. When I do this, I tend to get stuck there in the past; thinking of what I could have done differently or how I could have made that situation better. I hover there for a bit because those hard days were significant pieces of my life, times that have tested me, challenged me, and shaped me. But I don’t want to continuously be caught up in the past. I want to move on and focus on the present: the here and now. By being caught up in the past, whether good or bad, I can’t properly focus on what’s important right now. What I like doing most when I get stuck in the lousy past moments though, is reminding myself that I got through it.
Giving myself a pep talk
I remember how that day or moment was so hard and painful and how I didn’t think I would make it through…but I did. It helps me get through my current bad days. I’ll give myself a little pep talk and say, “Hey remember how you didn’t think there was any way you could get through that moment? Well, you did, and you can get through this day too.” Time is fleeting. We will have our bad days, but it’s all about how we face them. Some days all we can do is look an hour ahead and remember the only way out is to keep going. Keep looking forward, and you will make it through this too.
Worrying over the future
Or then there are the days I’m in the middle of an utterly beautiful moment and start worrying over the future. When we were younger, we all spent a significant amount of time dreaming about the future. But then we fast forward to now, and all of those things we imagined of as a child are already said and done, and we wish we could go back to those simpler times. As young children and teenagers, we don’t have the wisdom to appreciate the present, but as adults, it’s important to slow down and cherish these everyday moments before they’re gone. Yes, even finding the moments to love in the hard days.
Missing out on life
After you lose a piece of yourself with a diagnosis like MS, it’s common to find yourself living in the past. You think about how great your life was before it. There’s a difference, though, in keeping the memories of before, and missing out on life right now because you’re stuck in the past. I have to consistently remind myself not to get caught up and overwhelmed by what could have been before. I have to push myself to get up and move on. I can’t allow myself to get stuck there in that painful memory. I remind myself of the strength it took to get through diagnosis, and know that if I’ve gotten through all of that, I can surely get through whatever bad day I’m currently having.
Life is continually giving me teachable moments like that. I have to fight for myself because no one else can. I am the one that has the power to dust my shoulders off and move on. I want to cherish the present moment for what it is, even if it’s not what I pictured. It’s all about mentality. If my mind is strong, my body will follow. If I’m having a bad physical day, I try to power through it. Take one step at a time, rest when I need it, but keep moving. If I don’t do this, then I’ll become a victim to myself. If I’m having a bad mental day, I remind myself of all of my blessings to help ease the unwanted doubts I’m having. Remind myself of all that I do have, and focus less on what I don’t.
Grateful for each moment
Life is overwhelming, especially with a disease. It can bring out the worst in you, or it can bring out the best. And, at this point in my life, I want the best. I want to wake up each day grateful to have another day to tackle. Grateful to have things to stress over. Grateful for each moment. Little everyday stressors get me the most. Say, I’m having a tough physical AND mental day, and my 2-year-old is acting up (which happens often). I’m not always successful, but I try to remind myself in that moment what I want to teach him when life gets tough; I want him to see mommy has bad days but doesn’t let them phase her. I want him to know that those bad days can’t stop him or me from making the best out of hard times. It can’t stop us from enjoying the moment. I have to take a second to listen to my breathing, feel my heart beating in my chest, and be reminded that I’m alive and well. Keep looking up and ahead, because that’s where it’s all at. There’s always a present moment to cherish even in the midst of craziness.