Don’t Retire, ReFire: If not now, when?

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

There are many influential people, like Eckhart Tolle who have made this statement, which only validates its gravity. If not now, when?

Each month, I like to think that my messages are thought provoking and will raise the level of consciousness in the reader.

If we look at our lives as a string of todays, we may understand and more fully grasp the importance of living in the moment, “in the now”, and making it count. Don’t count the days, make the days count. Muhammad Ali

Experiencing the frailty of life in the last year and a half puts how we live in perspective, and the importance of connection with our family, friends and people whose paths cross ours.

What we individually experienced and what the nation experienced affected how we do things differently now based on exactly what changed for each of us. The challenge is the conflict and a lot of, “who’s right and who’s wrong”, in each situation that is encountered.

Part of me is annoyed that we are still starting or ending our sentences with, “since the pandemic”, “this time last year”, to name a few. My dear eighty-seven year old friend coined the pandemic as the “damn panic”! I must agree that she is spot on!

Although part of me is annoyed, I have concluded that we as individuals and as a nation haven’t learned all of the lessons yet, which is why we’re still talking about what has happened in the last one plus years. There is still much confusion on what to do, what not to do and what one chooses to do in spite of logic.

With all that said, as we come out of the woods, our focus should turn towards how to get the most out of life because it is, indeed, priceless. Recognize that we lived through what could be seen as a first hand, real time tutorial on understanding how not to take the life we’ve been given for granted.

When life shifts from one extreme to another so quickly, like what we’ve experienced through the pandemic, and major adjustments were necessary, it revealed a lot about ourselves. I don’t think any one person had the exact same reaction.

We need to find ways to weather this storm, that’s still passing through, with compassion, respect and unity, and in the midst of the healing process, discover our passions and our dreams. That is how we will truly live.

Fear is our biggest stumbling block in the pursuit of living life to its fullest. We allow it to cloud our thinking and limit our beliefs. This is where we get caught up in the paralyzing thought that there isn’t enough time, so we accept that and settle for less than what we know we’re capable of.

It boils down to shaking off the fear and looking at TIME as the acronym “Things I Must Experience”.

If we all can grasp that, we will be equipped to withstand any storm and be open to learning how to get the most out of this one precious life we’ve been given.

To live in the “now” and focus on each moment you’re living, there won’t be room in your life for fear and all the heaviness that comes with it.

There is TIME now because if not now, when?

Remember today is the only day that is promised to us, which is why it’s aptly called the present.

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