Your past is your life before the present time. The present is the period of time that is happening now, not the past or the future. The future is a period of time that is to come.
No matter how old you are, the past takes up most of our being. Everything we think, everything we do is rooted in our past. In our youngest childhood we learned to walk and talk, later we learned to read and write. When we walk today, we do not consciously think about putting one foot in front of the other. We simply recall the words we use in conversations etc. We know what a tree is when we see it - or we see it in our mind's eye when we hear or read the word. Memories are always retrospects of past moments.
The future is the time period from the present to the moment when our life clock stops ticking. What we fortunately do not know exactly is how many years our life clock has left. With my 36 years, I should assume that it has at least the same number of years left. But, you never know.
The present, on the other hand, is the shortest time span. It is a moment, a heartbeat. The present is the moment when we experience a sensation, a feeling, just before it becomes another memory. How consciously do we live in the present?
"18 year old me was thriving and I didn't even know it"
I have read these lines recently. The lad who wrote this, is probably 20-21 years old today.
How do we perceive this state of being? When are we doing well? How can we measure this? What does it actually mean?
It is interesting when other people make the statement that I am fine (must be fine). Does the fact that you have some improvements and beautifications made to the house while at the same time the necessary car is 'upgraded' to a new version justify the assumption "You must be well off"?
Do status symbols serve as a benchmark? Is a house or a car a status symbol?
Many people see it that way. They measure success and the well-being of other people by status symbols. This is a pity. This is superficially. Was I ever asked why I chose this car? No. It gets even more interesting when you live in a tiny village where everybody thinks they know everyone else. A place where rumors spread faster than wildfires.
But how can I tell that I'm doing well?
I don't think there's a universal answer to that. My own attitude to life and basic needs are my criteria. Independence, open-mindedness, tolerance, friendship, love,... a cozy home. I'm fine when I'm surrounded by loved ones. I am fine when I do not have to worry about my family and friends, or only worry a very little. I am fine when I can enjoy nature. I could continue the list.
Looking back, there were only a few episodes in my life where I was not doing well.
The ability to recognise what you (really) need in life to be well helps you to live your life more in the present. It is about enjoying the moment.
The future brings changes and chances. We change, our plans change. There are opportunities that lie ahead. We just have to be careful not to miss them. Anyone who knows me a little knows what I'm talking about. Our plan to spend an equal amount of time each year in Australia and Europe has changed. We have realised that our future is here in Australia. But even the place where we live will be a different place in future. When we took over a small tourism company a few months ago, we also acquired (at first unnoticed) a piece of land. Anyone who now thinks that we have either lost our minds or are hopeless optimists when we acquire a company in a pandemic, in a lockdown, a company that is currently unable to operate, does not know us well enough.
We are realists with sound optimism. We have confidence in the future.
My life has changed fundamentally within a year - our lives. The desire to slow life down became a reality. But the last couple of months have shown us what is important for us. As it turned out, the piece of land is a jewel. It is a peaceful place by the ocean, the closest neighbours are kilometres away. There are plenty of trees and wildlife. It is the place where we will build our new home. It will be our first home, which we will create together from scratch.
The future, our plans and their realisation, will certainly bring obstacles and challenges. Am I afraid? Not in the slightest.
How about you? How do you see the future? Got any new plans?