The Importance Of Being Grateful For The Present Moment In Time

Four thousand weeks; does that sound like a lot to you? It doesn’t to me. Let’s break it down a bit further — four thousand weeks is equal to seventy-six years, eight months, two weeks, two days, eleven Hours, thirty-three minutes and nineteen Seconds. Sorry, eighteen… seventeen… sixteen… okay, you get the idea. Now, what would you do if I told you that that amount of time is actually four full years beyond the expectancy of your life…? According to the United Nations, the global life expectancy as of 2019, was seventy-two point six years. That means that our lives are akin to a measly four thousand weeks. And that’s being generous.

As of today, right now when I type this, I have lived for two-thousand, thirty-five weeks — I’m over half way done! Take a second and tabulate your age to weeks, take your age and multiply it by fifty-two point one-four-three. (Age x 52.143).

…Does four thousand weeks still seem like a long time…?

There’s actually a book that explores this topic in a more nuanced fashion, it’s called, appropriately enough, Four Thousand weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman. In the book he discusses the concept of age, and how we tend to perceive time as going by at a faster rate as we get older. My hypothesis as to why this is the case is that I believe as we age and mature, our roles and responsibilities change and evolve as well. I mean, think about it, right from the time we wake up, we are already thinking about what we need to get done for the day, ignoring the present all together.


Get up, brush teeth, shower, get lunches made, wake the kids, work out, take the dogs out, get the mail, check phone, take trash out, make coffee, drink coffee, maybe even spill coffee, now clean coffee… etc, etc.


My point is, that we tend to live our lives in a future that seems inevitable (it isn’t), and rarely are we stilled enough to simply exist within the present, and thus time seems to appear as moving faster and faster, the more and more we pile onto ourselves. Wittingly, or unwittingly.

In recent years I have found myself challenging that way of being — the state of constant concern about what future self needs to get done — and I have tried to take a few moments each morning to focus on nothing other than me. It doesn’t have to be a long process, a matter of minutes, really, but it helps me in gaining an appreciation for the present, and my role within it. Sometimes, it even helps to alleviate the burden of expectation placed upon me by… well… me.

If I am able to get out of my own way for long enough to simply enjoy a glimmer of emerging sun, thinking about nothing other than how beautiful it is, that’s a win. And it’s also necessary for self-care. I say that because we don’t stop fretting once we’re, quote, “old.” No, instead we start worrying in reverse; thinking about all the things we WISH we could have done. And often times those thoughts are of enjoyment of the simpler things, more time with family, take more time off from work, another vacation to that place we love … all things that take place in the present tense.

The lack of living in the present remains, but our thoughts are stuck in either of what we HAVE to do, or what we SHOULD have done. And if you ask me, that’s no way to live. Especially with how short a time we have to do it.

So, what I’m saying is; stop reading this. Pick up the phone and tell someone that you love them. Tomorrow is never a guarantee. Four thousand weeks is not the given, it’s the hope, and as we’ve just discovered, that’s not a long time at all. Be sure to take a few moments each and every day just for you. Be present within the moment you are in, enjoy it. Own it. Because the reality is, a moment is all we got, and we deserve to take it. We’re allowed to take it. Close your eyes, take a few breaths, and then open them — look at how beautiful things are — we can’t control the world, nor what happens to us within it, but we can control how WE are in a given moment. That’s really all we have to control in this life, ourselves. And if life has taken a turn and things are tough, well, firstly I am sorry about that. It can be hard to find moments and gratitude during those times. I understand. If all else fails, try to pause, try to ease yourself, even if a second is all you can muster, and be grateful in knowing that you are one in a trillion. Actually, you are one in four-hundred trillion, to be precise. That’s the odds of being born — and the world chose you — if nothing else, that makes you pretty special. And if you don’t believe that you are, believe in those that do.

Now, if you’ll graciously excuse me, I am going to go outside and enjoy a moment of… nothing. Nothing other than a present moment in time.

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