Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Living In The Future

A wise man once told me 'it's great to have a vision for the future to give yourself something to strive towards, but never lose focus of the present; too many people live for the future, and forget about the here and now.'

I guess I've really only understood and appreciated this advice as I have grown older, and as my dreams, goals and accomplishments have gone from getting an a on a school paper, to renovating homes, owning investment properties, travelling the big wide world, starting a family, getting married and everything in between.

As I have become 'more mature', I have started to realise that it is a difficult thing at times, to balance living in the here and now with living for the future.

Sometimes, I think, society can be blamed for giving us mixed messages;

'Plan for your future'.

'Buy now; pay later.'

'Interest free for 12 months!'

'Set yourself up before starting a family.'

'Don't get into too much debt!'

'Young people don't know what it's like these days to start from scratch and build themselves up - they want the best of the best right away and aren't prepared to work hard, wait and sacrifice for their commodities'.

Yup, I'm sure you've heard it all. From media to advertising to teachers, family and friends, we've all been ear bashed with ways to improve our lives, and things to strive for, in the future. Heck, many companies now provide interest free loans for people to improve their life right here and now with the latest flat screen TV, iPad and roller shutters, without having to pay a cent upfront....but what many fail to see is just how they are going to manage to pay these things back, without scrimping and saving and going without food, shopping, dinner dates and life's small luxuries along the way.

So how can we balance planning, purchasing and splurging for the future while still living and loving life in the now?

I don't really know to be honest. 

I guess I'm super conscious of stopping, standing still, taking a deep breath, and appreciating life as it is, in the here and now. I'm aware that too often we 'live for the future' and forget about just how precious the moments, friends, family, memories, sense of security, love, appreciation, effort and kindness that we have in our lives, right now.

Too often I fall into the trap of thinking that life will be easier and more enjoyable once we've finished renovating, or once we've paid off the bills this week, or when we move back home and it's a slower pace of life, or when we own reliable new cars, or life will be better when we have a nice house to live in; and I forget that what I have right now, is enough; in fact it's way more then half of the worlds population has!

At the end of the day, we all know that the bills keep coming, the renovations never end, and there's always something that we'll be saving for; making things tighter then we'd like.

We all do it; whether we're conscious of it or not - live in the future that is.

We send our partners off to the mines to make the big bucks and pay off our debts faster.

We work overtime just for an extra $100 bucks to make ends meet, and to be able to afford life's luxuries.

We all put off going out for dinner and splurging on that nice dress or gorgeous pair of leather boots, because we must save and sacrifice for our new house, or new car and big holiday.

We all dream of the big perfect house (mine has a white picket fence, french shutters, huge library of books, a hammock swaying out the back, with a dishwasher and all of the latest gadgets and gizmo's to make life easier).

We all strive towards great jobs, promotions, big pay packets, success, and a sense of achievement in the work place, all so that we can afford the things that we've always dreamt of.

No one ever likes to settle on anything less but their dreams, wants, and needs.

People take out huge mortgages for their dream house, and find themselves slaves to the banks, trying to scrimp and save every last penny just to make their fortnightly repayments.

But at what cost?

Living for the future means sacrificing what? Present happiness? The thrill of some retail therapy so that you have something new in your wardrobe to bust out on the weekend, feeling self esteem oozing, confidence building, and revitalised? The chance to go out on a date night with your partner to just sit and chat, without everyday life distractions? The opportunity to relish the precious moments with your children if you work away or super long hours? Sacrificing family time on weekends to work a few extra hours for a couple extra dollars in your pay packet after the tax man has greedily gobbled up your moolah, staying in instead of going out with friends because you can barely afford your repayments let alone alcohol for the night?

At what cost does living in the future hold on the present?

In no way am I saying that it's 'bad' to be forward thinking, or to have a plan for the future and goals that you'd like to achieve together as you build your life, but all I am trying to say is that every now and again, we have to be mindful of being able to live and love life in the present, and not sacrificing those precious memories, quality time with loved ones, and your own health and well being to bust your guts for the 'future.'

For sometimes those who lose sight of the here and now; end up finding themselves very lonely and upset, as all they have ever known is to work hard for the future, and they have forgotten about the importance of the presence for relationship and character building.

Here's to loving, not just living life week to week paying bills.

Here's to life's little thrills, and being grateful for what we have, right here, right now.

Stop. Think. Appreciate.

Have a vision in mind for the future, but don't lose sight of the presence.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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