I wake up happy.
My coffee is ready and waiting. I’m guaranteed a slice of silence before the Child & her canine companion awake.
There is, for me, tremendous promise in the dawn of a new day.
I have no idea what’s to come and it could be fantastical, fabulous and greatly unexpected.
In that sense I’m a true optimist.
I greet each gift of 24 hours with an overwhelming sense of this could be the day!!! even when I’ve no specific “this” I’m hoping for.
What do we want? (not sure!!) When do we want it? (now!!)
Lest you think I’m entirely Suzie Sunshine, I’m over the day by 10p.
I figure anything fab & fantastical that was going to transpire already did by that late in the day.
If nothing out of the ordinary occurred I’m pretty damn certain it’s *not* happening and am ready to get trashy & go to sleep.
Unless I have something specific I’m nervoucited about: I wake eager, let the day unfurl, see what happens, celebrate what happens/do an eye-roll at what didn’t transpire, deem the day DONE and move on to the next.
Sure I take daily steps to set myself up for future success. I pitch my services. I podcast record for later airing. I network etc.–but I remain wholly focused on the day at hand during the hours I’m living it.
I HOPE the future-stuff I set in motion comes to fruition.
I live each day with the vague awareness there’s a future out there waiting for me.
I possess (after work & brain retraining) hope not in the sense of knowing everything will work out perfectly for me but an awareness however it works out is perfectly perfect for me.
I’m more focused on each beautiful tree than on the forest.
I used to think of this as a quirk (or failing, tomato tomahhhto) until I overheard a woman say:
To get excited about the future is to disrespect the day.
Disrespect the day.
Hell yes, Woman! I thought. Preach!
I knew precisely what she was trying to say. If we are too focused on tomorrow–we miss the gift that is today.
Being too tomorrow-focused strips today of its opportunity to be great.
46. Living that day fully. No thought to the future.
The more I considered her words, however, my firm agreement started to waver.
I wake each day excited by its potential–but still with an eye to the future. I’m eager to see “what’s next” as well.
To get excited about the future is to disrespect the day.
I think, as with all things life (and Diet Coke and definitely fitness) the key is in moderation.
In walking a fine line of being present & fully experiencing the day at hand while possessing the ability to simultaneously keep in mind/be excited for all the days to come.
If I weren’t excited about the future I wouldn’t do things today my future-self will thank me for.
If I weren’t excited about the future I wouldn’t live a lifestyle which ensures I’ll be healthy and vibrant in those future-days to come.
In the end I concluded the woman and I differ.
I’m excited about today.
I’m excited about the future.
I’m an advocate of monotasking, yet, in this instance, I require both sentiments simultaneously to live completely.
I’d love your thoughts.
- Do you agree excitement about the future is disrespecting the day?
- Are you like I am in that excessive focus on the future can quickly shift to anxiety?
Bea saysJuly 27, 2015 at 4:53 am
I do not agree.
I think we need to be excite for today (I love your first photo) and still think about tomorrow.
Have a great Monday!!
amanda brooks saysJuly 27, 2015 at 4:56 am
Hmm I understand the point and yet don’t fully agree. I have some super duper wonderful trips coming up and I”m excited!!!! I want to enjoy each moment of anticipation and the planning and ohh what fun, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also appreciate my morning meditation or the article I write today.
I think there is room for both, as long as you aren’t living in the “I’ll be happy when” state.
Heather Shugarman saysJuly 30, 2015 at 6:19 am
I agree with Amanda. I think you can have both, especially when planning/preporation is something you enjoy spending today’s time on 😉 And avoiding the “I’ll be happy when” stat she mentions is key!
Tara saysJuly 27, 2015 at 5:20 am
For me too much focus on the future definitely sparks my anxiety.
I need to focus on the day today. I hadn’t thought about the word disrespect, but that works too.
Coco saysJuly 27, 2015 at 5:47 am
I see her point but disagree in all but the most “big picture” sense. You can look forward to tomorrow and still appreciate today. And, some todays suck but are worth it for the tomorrows they will bring. Or, some todays just plain suck and all that gets you through is the hope for a better tomorrow.
Andrea saysJuly 27, 2015 at 6:20 am
Both. I agree with both.
I think you’re 100% right. But I can see what she means because I’ve seen people get so obsessed with tomorrow. Beyond focused. And forget about today. So both work. But I like your way best. 😉
Erin@BeetsPerMinute saysJuly 27, 2015 at 6:30 am
So much has happened in my life over the last half of a decade that leads me to want to live each day to its fullest. Being present is such a challenge for so many of us. As a person who suffers horribly from anxiety, living in the here and now is a very necessary mindset for my survival. That being said, I also know that making great choices each day and having gratitude gives me the peace of mind I need to keep my anxiety under control. I think if we follow our hearts and passions and feel truly alive we can never really disrespect the day.
I love when you make me think so deeply on a Monday, Carla!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:21 am
I’m mixed, because I think it’s great to feel positive and excited for the future or future events and I actually don’t do this enough. I tend to get caught up in the current day, for better or worse and fail to see the forest. Like anything a balance is in order to fully respect all of it!
Lori Musselman saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:34 am
I see where she’s coming from BUT I’m excited to see what the future brings. I think it’s important to enjoy the journey because it shapes our future. Great post to get us all thinking 🙂
Susan Williams saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:54 am
Definitely don’t agree. To be present in the day is important.
To have hope for tomorrow is critical.
Sagan saysJuly 27, 2015 at 8:12 am
There has to be some balance between living in the NOW and looking to the future.
And it’s a sliding scale 🙂
Cammy@TippyToeDiet saysJuly 27, 2015 at 8:13 am
As a creative type, my mind likes to jump ahead to possibilities and opportunities, but I do have a tendency to spend too much time anticipating and dreaming. And sometimes anticipating and dreading. When I catch myself drifting too much, I try to follow Anne Lamott’s “be where your butt is”. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
Karen D. Austin saysJuly 27, 2015 at 8:16 am
I like to read Buddhist meditations, which embrace the power of NOW. It’s harmful to dwell in the past or worry about the future. Yes, we might learn from the past and plan for the future in ways that are psychologically productive. But, really, we only have the moment in which to live. The past and the future are really only constructs that we carry forward with us second by second. I say SEIZE the DAY! (But I am not being a hedonist when I say that. I’m just trying to capture the power of living pragmatically in the present.) In other words, YOU GO, GIRL! I love your pics–the smile, the flowers, the leggings. Fabulous stuff. This post has great Monday morning energy. Woo hoo!
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:47 am
You touch upon something which has been on my list for a while as well and Ive not yet “moved on.” I need to stop and find and then READ more of the Buddhist teachings as far too many inspiring women have nudged me that way recently…
Ali Davies saysJuly 27, 2015 at 8:26 am
….and that is where fulfillment lives ……..right there in finding a way to live fully in the present , whilst keeping an eye to the future and taking action to design it how we want it to be. Go you.
By the way, I am totally with you on the early morning thing. Love my early mornings before the rest of the house is up. I call it my power hour…I do things that feed my mind, body and soul. Really anchors me and sets me up for the day ahead. I really notice the difference if I miss it for some reason.
lindsay Cotter saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:00 am
shoot.. how do you know the exact words i need to hear? And words that are in my head…
“I live each day with the vague awareness there’s a future out there waiting for me.”
So thank you, for the AWARENESS of today. Not tomorrow
Meg Root saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:05 am
I’m with you. I’m all for being in the moment, but looking forward to things gives me energy and hope. I think there’s room for both. Onward!
firstname.lastname@example.org saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:10 am
I like you, Carla, are a true optimist. We sure are lucky!
pia saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:10 am
God yes to the second question.
And I’m an excessively optimistic person. I know my book will be a best seller. Ha! I can dream.
I think optimism gets us out of bed in the morning and gets that damn bed made–so we can unmake it later (4 hours before going into it in case of spiders but I realize that’s sick)
I think understanding “perfect for me” is the key to being an adult but not a sober judgmental one.
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:46 am
YES YES YES, Sister!!! optimism gets me out of bed in the morning and … realism tucks me in at night 🙂
Estelle Sobel Erasmus saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:11 am
Great thoughts, Carla. I personally think you can do both–celebrate the day as well as hope for the future. But it is important to live in the moment.
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:34 am
I am really bad about getting all caught up in big things i have coming up and forgetting to enjoy the simple little daily things.
Yum Yucky saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:36 am
The way you are putting this really resonates with me. I’ve got some mindset-changing to do.
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:41 am
I feel like everything that’s bothering me in my head you have the perfect way of putting it into words that makes sense. I think we’re all guilty of “focusing on getting to the next thing” and not mindful of how we got there. Our society is just too rushed and the expectations are more than they should be.
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:46 am
There’s a good chance Im saving your comment and LOVING UP your first sentence when I need a lift. Thank you <3
Jennice saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:56 am
I am like you in that I get very anxious about the future. I don’t think thinking about tomorrow is necessarily disrespecting the day. I think being fully present in the present is great but logically everyone has to think of the future. Enjoy your week!
Dr. J saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:20 am
I love Emerson’s quote: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:45 am
Oh yes. Id forgotten that one too. BE DONE WITH IT are 4 words I need to remember as well 🙂
Liz saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:46 am
I’m on the fence with this one.. I love to live for today, but also get so excited about what the future and tomorrow holds!
cheryl saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:48 am
For me the future is now- I spent many years trying to get where I am with my family and career. A daughter who now has a Master’s degree. A home that is paid for. NO DEBT! A job that I love (except for the drive there and back). People at work that I respect and am proud to work with. A husband that loves me better than I love myself. A clean gym and pool in which to workout. A safe neighborhood in which to run/cycle. Mountains at my back door. Javelinas and coyotes and rattlesnakes to observe over my wall. Quail to feed. Races to be entered and won. Had I not had an eye to the future and taken steps to get here-well I would be like so many others who are floundering in their 60s (like my sisters) wondering who is going to take care of them as they don’t have the income or health to take care of themselves….
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm
Cheryl? this is really really profound and beautiful. thank you.
Coach Henness saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:49 am
BOTH! Together! Anything good can be taken too far and turned into something negative. Remembering the hard lessons you learned in the past or recalling happy memories can also cause us to disrespect the day if we marinate in them, but of course we should never FORGET those things completely. Use it when it serves you, lose it when it hurts you. Great post.
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm
sometimes it feels as though that is an american thing too 🙂 we can take anything GOOOOOD and make it bad by using or doing it too much 🙂
Erin saysJuly 27, 2015 at 11:48 am
There definitely needs to be a balance between embracing the present and being excited for the future. I’m doing things at present that make me excited for the future. I’m not neglecting my present with a wish/hope/dream that something spectacular is going to happen in the future. I’m actively working on my present so that I can have the future I envision. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with anxiety of the future (mostly because of the “unknowns”). So I am struggling with a few aspects of the future, and it does cause me great anxiety. However, I just have to keep reminding myself that everything I do today is going to impact my future, and it gives me something to strive for.
Anita Irlen saysJuly 27, 2015 at 11:52 am
Being a consummate worrier, I’m all over the place. Stuck in the past, worrying about today, and afraid of tomorrow. Neurotic! That’s why I’m very drawn to Buddhism and meditation. It helps me stay in now and appreciate what is.
Carla saysJuly 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm
this seems to be a phrase so repeated today too. here. in private messages. on twitter. everywhere. STAY IN THE NOW. <3
Connie McLeod saysJuly 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm
I see no reason why one can’t be in the moment and enjoy the day and make plans for an exciting future. And we can honor the past too.
Roz@weightingfor50 saysJuly 27, 2015 at 1:23 pm
Every day is a gift, but there is every reason to hope for a tomorrow. For me, balance between the two is important. Be here, be now, but be aware of what may/may not come tomorrow. Plan as best as you can, but know that life will throw you roadblocks, and the future isn’t always what you think it will be, so love the day today…
Does that make sense?
Roxanne Jones saysJuly 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm
I agree with everyone who comes down on the side of “be in the present, but look forward to the future with optimism.” I believe it really is possible to do both without doing a disservice to either.
A thought-provoking and stimulating read for a Monday (or any day) – thanks!
AdjustedReality saysJuly 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm
Sometimes being excited for something in the future helps me shape my present. I’m excited to do my next big race in 60-some days. That means I will train today and eat the right amount of calories and proteins and carbs and stuff.
I am a little jealous about the waking up and being excited. Usually the stuff I’m really excited about gets me up SO EARLY IN THE AM, no matter how cool it is, I’m just not awake enough to be excited. 🙂
mimi saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm
Part of todays work is preparing for tomorrow. You have the right idea, enjoy what is today, knowing something else is coming with the tomorrow and preparing for it.
She Rocks Fitness saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm
OMG yes I get full anxiety when I start obsessing too much about the future…my plans…what I should be doing…supposed to be doing…I all of a sudden feel full on A.D.D. and stress out. I definitely should live more in the moment…live in that day…but I think it is important to look towards the future. It comes down to moderation!
Michelle saysJuly 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm
I dunno…I think if you live in the future then you do miss out on your life as it is happening. And Yes…getting excited about the future can trigger major anxiety. This is interesting.
As always, I absolutely love you. xo
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysJuly 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm
I can fully live in the moment, appreciating the day for what it brings – but always with an eye to the future. I think you need the balance of both.
Lisa @ RunWiki saysJuly 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm
I am a pretty driven person- when I focus too much on the future it shows. Having kids has really underscored the importance of living in the moment. They grow up so fast. If you are so focused on the future, you will most certainly miss the small details of what makes motherhood so special. I am no saint though, I have moments of being present throughout my day, but I have an equal amount of crystal ball rubbing. For me personally, it would be very difficult to always be in a state of mindfulness.
GiGi Eats saysJuly 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm
Weird to read this today because I was talking with man-friend and he told me “enjoy what you have now, not what you might get” – and I do do that every single day of my life. It is definitely just something to think about. He also said: “enjoy today, tomorrow is not guaranteed” – another true statement. I swear he is a fortune cookie today – LOL!
Carla saysJuly 28, 2015 at 5:00 am
oh see? I now want your manfriend to write a guest post for me…or for the three of us to go to dinner 🙂 Either way. Im easy.
Elle saysJuly 27, 2015 at 11:00 pm
Oh my goodness, I love the optimism from your blog post. I could almost feel it radiating from my screen!
I do believe that stressing about the future and over thinking leads to anxiety for myself. I don’t think I could not think about the future and live completely and fully in the moment, but it definitely is something I could do more of.
I’ve been dwelling on the uncertainties of the future more often lately so I am so glad you could share this with us.
Allie saysJuly 28, 2015 at 6:08 am
I needed this SO BADLY! Thank you Carla. My training plans make me disrespect the day. I’m forever thinking about what needs to happen tomorrow before I make it though today. Enough!!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysJuly 28, 2015 at 7:40 am
Not sure I agree that being excited for the future is disrespecting the day. I know we’re supposed to live in the moment…but what’s wrong with making plans and looking ahead? That hurts my brain…
I like getting up early before everyone else and just savoring the peace and solitude.
Heather@hungryforbalance saysJuly 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm
I feel like focusing too much on today OR tomorrow produces anxiety in me. But, then again, I am prone to anxiety in general. I am really trying to live more in the moment and worry less about what is to come, whether it is 5 minutes from now or 5 days from now.
Valerie saysJuly 29, 2015 at 6:05 am
For me, mindfulness meditation has really helped me become aware that today and tomorrow aren’t separate entities at all. There’s really no “now” or “later” because it’s all one seamless piece. So today contains the seeds of tomorrow, and being truly present in the moment means I retain an awareness of the coming moment as well. I’m not rushing toward it, but I’m not setting it aside as irrelevant to the now, either. It’s like…time is an ocean, not a river, if that makes any sense. It’s hard to put words to, but I love the sense of continuity and wholeness it gives me.
Lisa Reed saysJuly 29, 2015 at 8:38 pm
I agree, yet also disagree. I love to wake with an excitement, much like you. While it can lead to one looking into the future (or, disrespecting the day), it can also lead to one making the day much more productive and fulfilling. It leads to a more positive outlook on life, and I wake up each morning with a smile on my face. If that’s what happens when one disrespects the day, I think I will keep on being disrespectful