Back to the Future?

If you could fast forward to a specific date in the future, when would it be?

I’ve thought about this question from time to time, but I’ve never really come up what I felt was a significant enough event.

I can think of years and dates and events from the past, mine and the world’s, that I would like to visit. But the future? Nothing.

Maybe it’s because I learned from Doc Brown that you really shouldn’t mess with the future. I don’t want to know, because knowing would prompt me to want to fix things. And I know not to interfere. Because Back to the Future. And not fixing things would be harder than fixing them.

It becomes a very complicated question.

So, searching for inspiration, I asked my eight-year-old son the question.

His answer?

“My birthday. No, wait! Halloween. No, Tuesday. Definitely Tuesday.”

Why Tuesday?

Because I will be at my bookbinding class and, consequently, his favourite babysitter will be hanging out with him.

Simple.

Simple question, simple answer.

It is the one day he is currently looking most forward to.

Such is the purity of spirit, and purity of mind, of a child. We could all learn a lot from this way of thinking.

Talk about living in the moment.

It’s like the coupons he got in his stocking this year: there were a few granting him amnesty from changing the sheets on his bed each week, and a few more getting him out of his chores.

We tried recommending that he spread them out throughout the year. A little treat every now and then. But no, he is using them back to back…to back.

I sigh because of course when he cashes them in, I’m the one doing the chores.

But there is a certain purity to this thought process as well.

He is living in the moment. Fully present. Seizing the day. Looking to the simple pleasures in life.

Something my adult brain can’t apparently grasp. I guess it’s something I need to work on because even after this wonderful child-led epiphany, I can’t think of a date I’m so excited about that I’d head off to it immediately if given the chance.

Or perhaps I’m selling myself short; maybe I really am in the moment. So in the moment that I don’t even want to fast forward a few days. I’m here, now, where I’m supposed to be. And I’m happy with that.

But if I could just have a taste of Maine in the summer, I wouldn’t say no.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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11 thoughts on “Back to the Future?

  1. How can you say your little boy is living in the moment when he wants it to be next Tuesday? He’s a kid! He can’t wait to grow up, for a holiday, or a babysitter, or some OTHER time. I think that’s part of what it means to be a kid — that wonderful anticipation. At a certain point, we know how the stories turn out (that’s much later, later on even than you are, mom!) YOU’RE living in the moment! The big danger is not living in the future…it’s living in the past.

    • Thank you for your perspective. It IS a struggle for me to live in the present, but mostly because of anxiety issues. Definitely something I’m working on.
      But you’re right, too, I often tell my son to stop living for things in the future, to just enjoy today. To some extent, he was sort of finally applying that. But also, maybe it was less of a being present, more of a pure enjoyment of something simple, which is nice too.

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