“’I had my chance.' He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. 'I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.’” ~ Jamie Ford
Last month my husband, Burke, and I went to a wedding in Danville. We’ve known the groom since he was 8 (isn’t he still??) and were happy to see a bunch of other Northern Neck friends who shared that connection. As with most weddings, the 20-somethings were front and center with their high energy and bright futures, clearly evident at the reception.
“They don’t know how good they’ve got it,” said one friend as a group of us gathered in a circle. Others nodded in agreement. The conversation reminded me of the Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, which explores themes of nostalgia and modernism. I agreed that the 20-somethings had it good, but I disagreed with the implication that they were somehow better off being young. Didn’t we have it good too? Weren’t we celebrating love at a beautiful country club with a group of friends? Will we look back at this day 30 years from now and say we didn’t know how good we had it? How often do we acknowledge what’s here and now vs. looking to the past or future for something brighter?
I remember talking to my mother when I was in the throws of babies and toddlers and didn’t have a second to even take a shower. “When I get my life back,“ I sighed as I changed yet another diaper, “I’ll be able to do such and such…” She smiled at me. “This IS your life,” she said.
The longer I practice yoga, the clearer it’s becoming that when I pay attention to here and now, joy comes from the simplest things. It comes from the pose I’m struggling with or nailing, not the one I did yesterday or might do tomorrow; it comes from the attitude with which I approach my practice and my daily tasks; it comes from the attention I give to my relationships: the peaks, the valleys, and everything in between.
How about you? Do you wax nostalgic for the good old days when music was better, life was simpler (and people still used the phrase, wax nostalgic)? Will your future be brighter once you get past ________ (fill in the blank)? How does your yoga or other spiritual practice affect your approach to here and now?