I think we’ve always looked forward to tomorrow. It’s a new day. Tomorrow the sun will rise. ‘See you tomorrow!’ we say to our co-workers and friends and neighbors as if we can’t wait. And no matter how messed up today may have been, there’s always tomorrow. We live our life hoping for a better tomorrow and that is a magical thing. I mean, if we can’t hope for a better tomorrow, why are we even trying, today?
I read something recently that said you should live only in the present, not in the past and not in the future. As much as I want to agree with this, doesn’t this send everyone mixed messages? I mean, the past is the past and we can leave it at that, knowing we cannot change it. But that isn’t real life. The past shapes us into who we are today and memories of happy times and places are fun to look back on and our childhood is something that’s a part of us whether we want it to be or not. We look to our past for comfort when we are sad and when we hear a certain song or familiar smell or when someone close to us dies. We know that although we cannot change anything that’s happened to us, we can learn from it. And the famous line “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” forces us to always revisit what we have learned so we don’t make the same mistakes, twice. So in a way, we do live in the past. And that’s okay. Then there’s the future. We all think about our future and imagine the life we want to live and make plans based on those thoughts. We save for the future. We put our children through college so they can have a bright future. We plant flowers and trees and gardens so we can enjoy them in the future. Businesses buy land for future expansion. We think of all of the adventures we are going to have in our future. We are constantly making future plans, as absurd as they may seem. So in a way, we do live in the future. And that’s okay. And then there’s the present. There’s today. There’s the day we live in and work in and stress in and laugh in and cry in and run around in and drive in and eat in and walk in and run in and study in and make choices in and text in and cook in and clean in and are reminded that today is a day we have to get through. We try to live in the present. And that’s okay.
I can’t help but wonder if we live in the past, present and future all at the same time. I hope so. I want to live in the past and all the memories, and mistakes, that go with it. I want to be able to glance backwards, to remember why I’m moving forward. I want to live in the present and make the most of what I have, today. I want to live in the future and hope for a better tomorrow. As we move forward into 2017, I ask you to always hope for a better tomorrow and know that hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Keep it up. Because tomorrow is a pretty great day.
With love from Grand Haven,
p.s. I choose this picture because it is from my past (actually 2010 not 2008), it is my present because it’s spring break and it is my future because I really, really, really want to learn to surf.