First published by About Our Town Community News (print) in Piscataway, NJ. August 2015.
Over the past year I developed a certain stress about time. I regularly find myself getting caught up in the idea that I may not be using it well. Scared that I will take for granted precious moments, and not enjoy my youth. It seems as if this thought in particular is even a waste of time itself. To begin my discussion, the YOLO lifestyle has intrigued me. Somehow I haven’t adopted it as a permanent life creed. If you’re not familiar with the term YOLO, it stands for “you only live once” which happens to be a staple of the latter half of Generation Y’s lifestyle.
If I live according to YOLO, the world could very well become a happier place for me. Maybe I would stop thinking about how I’m contemplating my life experiences. Living every day like it is my last would seem to relieve the stresses of my tomorrow. But is it possible to actually live like that?
A friend of mine recently changed my perspective about time. During one of our conversations we contemplated happiness and how we use our time. In order to find out what makes me happy, he asked me a simple question, “what do you want right now, in this very moment?” The question struck me as odd. I paused and had to think for a couple minutes as to what I actually wanted. Food? To go relax on the beach? I’m thinking to myself, how could I not know what I wanted to do right now. It’s unfortunate that I’m living in the future and the past so much that I’m in this nonexistent cloudy excuse for the present.
I told him of my indecision; he said to me, “That’s how I live in the moment. I try to do only the things that make me happy; I focus on right here and now. It’s the only way to stay content with life.” It sounded a little bit too simple of a recipe for me, yet his answer may very well be the essence of happiness; the answer to my dilemma with time.
I understand that paying a great deal of attention to time is irrational because no one can change it. The only way that I can ignore my fear of fleeting time is to live in the happy illusion of the present. For the present is a place where one can contemplate the future and the past knowing that they are abstract gifts of life.