Will You Take the Challenge?

It has never been more important to face each day, each hour, as if it were our last. I woke up this morning with an overly busy mind, intermittently celebrating a future that would give me everything I wanted and in the next moment, wallowing in an ominous world that would leave me bereft and depressed. Neither of these thought forms were based in reality, not the beautifully wrapped package with a big red bow waiting for me under the tree or my Xmas stocking stuffed with coal.

When I make a decision to live for now, that shakes up my made up future that has been torturing me. I had a friend who underwent a spate of medical tests on a Friday to see if she had brain cancer. She had to wait until Monday to get her results and she was scheduled to spend the weekend with her six-year-old grandson whom she adored. She decided to enjoy every moment of it and when her fear rose up, she said to herself, “This is Saturday, not Monday. This is Sunday, not Monday.” She focused all her attention on the child that she loved so much and when Monday arrived, she had proven to herself that living day to day, moment to moment, being one hundred percent present, was the only way to enjoy her life, no matter her diagnosis.

It feels ominous in the world right now. We are faced with so many reasons to be afraid and to dread tomorrow. But when we remind ourselves that this is today, that we have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will bring, we are giving ourselves a chance to have a good day. I’m not suggesting this is easy. It isn’t. It takes discipline to be mindful, to stay in the moment. It also takes discipline not to believe what anyone else is telling us. No matter how adamantly they voice their opinions, no matter the facts that they claim will validate their slant on the situation, they don’t know the truth any better than you do because it hasn’t happened yet.

I detest roller coasters. The harrowing speed, the ups and downs, the terror of falling holds no allure for me. Neither do the pundits who take us on that same kind of roller coaster ride that shoots us up to the sky and drags us back down to the earth where we feel catastrophic and claustrophobic. And so, I’ve decided to not watch the news this weekend, to unlatch the safety bar and step off of the roller coaster. I’ve decided to refrain from listening to newscasters who lead with the bad news and make their livings by scaring us to get ratings.

I challenge you to do the same, to stop watching the news until Tuesday, to stop being victimized by fear mongering reporters who are dedicated to spread doom and gloom. Actress, singer, dancer J Lo, recently challenged her 85 million social media followers to take part in a no carb, no sugar diet to lose weight and get healthier. I’m presenting a much easier challenge. If you voted, donated, practice social distancing and make it a habit to wear a mask to protect others and ultimately yourself, there is nothing left for you to do.

As odd as it is for me to be quoting the bible (I’m not a traditionally religious person), I subscribe to the aphorism from Matthew 6:34. “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, each day contains an ample burden of evils and suffering so we should not worry about the future. My intention is to view Saturday as Saturday. Not Tuesday. Sunday is Sunday, not Tuesday. And the same goes for Monday. I intend to take each moment for what it is and find a way to enjoy the day and do something good for yourself or somebody else. Please join me and have a great few days.