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Running Through the Forest
On living in the now
What’s up, y’all!
This week gnob and I have been talking about living in the present moment. It was kind of mind blowing to me when I first realized that the past only exists in our heads. (If you didn’t know that already, sorry, spoiler alert - the same goes for the future!)
“Memento Mori”. Remember that you will die. Knowing that death could come for you at any moment is a great reminder to live in the moment you’re in, because it could be your last.
But mostly, it seems we try to forget that we’re going to die, because that’s no fun to think about. We go on living like there will always be another tomorrow when instead we should be living like there’s no tomorrow.
So we put off things that are hard, because there’s always tomorrow. Like getting healthy, or going back to school, or applying for a supervisory position, or doing our physical therapy exercises.
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That’s where I was in the picture above. Yep, that’s me next to the Fairlady, 80 pounds ago. I ate too much and drank way too much and had lots of debt and lived paycheck to paycheck. I spent all my spare time playing video games and taking antacid.
But everything changed when I moved in with gnob, because gnob lives in the Now.
His whole style of life made me realize that mine left a bit to be desired. He would work all day at a job and then come home and work all night on a side project. When he wanted something, he made it happen, no matter how much work it took.
And it always takes a lot of work to get the good stuff, doesn’t it?
I’ve come a long way since that picture was taken, not just physically, but also mentally, because there is another benefit to living in the Now: it freed me from painful emotions that I was inflicting on myself. Eckhart Tolle explains it in his book, The Power of Now:
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
I don’t have to feel sadness about the past anymore. The past is gone, so I let it go, and left my fear with it. It’s the same when it comes to worrying about the future. Don’t stress all the what-if’s, worry about what you’re doing in the present. What-if’s are just that, anyway, “What IF’s”. As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
In a way, this concept is similar to the Stoic idea that we have no control over anything external. We can only control our reactions to the external. If you consider the past as an external, then you can decide how you react to memories of the past. You don’t have to choose sadness. It’s totally up to you how you choose to feel about it.
I’m so glad that gnob taught me that lesson, because it’s changed my entire life. I try not to squander my moments, because I don’t know how many moments I’m even going to have. If this were my last moment, would I feel okay with how I spent today, or could I have spent it more wisely? This is a good question, and I ask it of myself every night when I sit down with my journal. Try asking it of yourself, and see if you have a good answer.
I’ll end here with another great question, this one from Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day”. I know it gets thrown around on the internet a lot, but that’s because it’s a question worth asking:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Video of the Week
gnob shows how to rekey a lock with a little sleight of hand.
Quote of the Week
That wraps up another week with Snale Racing! We’ll leave you with the quote that was most powerful for us this week. Peace!✌
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title track: I have a 10k trail race this weekend.