People have more freedom to enjoy life today than any other generation that has come before them. This is a gift and privilege that it is a true shame to waste.
And people know this. The new generation of young adults, reaching maturity and independence with each fresh day, are living life to its fullest as much as they can. Which is no easy feat as long as western culture continues to face cuts to services and inflation pricing young people out of homes.
This is a generation that embraces living in the moment.
The phrase is usually accompanied by photos of people with broad grins and glowing skin, leaping out of a plane or standing on top of a mountain overlooking a glimmering lake or hugging an exotic animal. Images that, it has become accepted, are people ‘living in the moment’.
They are experiencing the finest things the world has to offer, both natural and man-made. Seeing the most advanced cities and the most beautiful sights the planet’s environment has to offer. Getting to know and understand creatures and cultures that they may never have experienced if they had stayed in their home town.
And if you get an opportunity to experience these things then you should absolutely grab hold of them. Once in a lifetime experiences are called that for a reason. Physically being there, doing it yourself, teaches you things that no amount of theory or research can. These are the kind of experiences that change the course of a life.
But they’re not available to everybody.
They’re expensive, they require a lot of time and energy, and a lot of people don’t have those resources or, if they do, have them earmarked for something more important, like building a home or providing for a family.
Even those people who do get to go on those adventures don’t get to have those breath-taking snapshot moments every second of every day. Anyone who tries to get that is eventually going to drive themselves into physical, emotional or financial ruin. They have to take a break every now and again.
The fact is that everyone can live in the moment, regardless of their circumstances, regardless of what they’re doing with their life.
As nice as it is to be able to be spontaneous and adventurous, it’s not necessary to live in the moment.
Living in the moment is about appreciating everything you do.
It is about knowing that whatever you are doing at any given time is your choice.
It can be sitting at work and knowing that you are earning money to have the life that you want – whether that means that you’re going on an adventure later on or that you’re going to pay rent on somewhere you’re comfortable calling home.
It can be relaxing, in the quiet, on your own, and just enjoying the peace.
It can be watching fatuous prime time television, snuggled up to someone you care about, appreciating the arm around your shoulder and the cushions against your back.
Whatever you do with your time, living in the moment is thinking, I chose this.
This is mine.
This is what I want.
As long as the things you do in your life are your decision, you don’t need to worry about anything else. Take some time every now and again to remember that. To appreciate that you’ve got something that is perfectly, beautifully yours.
That moment that you take to cherish that is the most important one you’ll ever live.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.