I’ve spent my adult life stressing the importance of being in the present as much as possible and that dialogue, the highest level of communication between people, demands that we be present with each other. How else do we hear, understand, and are able to confirm if not present?
But living long enough brings many physical, mental, and emotional changes. So, staying in the present is a challenge. If you have ills and pain that are with you most of the time, what sense is there being omnipresent with any of this? Instead, doing everything possible to get away or at least to alleviate pain and discomfort is what we do. If the pain and discomfort become too much, drugs come into play, and if they are strong enough, they take us out of being altogether.
I have come to appreciate that our memories have value to us beyond their real-time experience. Our travels were, for the most part, physical and educational adventures. We occupied our days with as much as possible, always taking the “blue” roads, rarely sure where we would stay, camp, and eat. We just let the road and “events dictate.”
This filled our minds and senses so that those experiences are as much with us today as they were then. Perhaps this is what pushing the envelope of living is about, building up a memory pool to be used when we cannot do anything except live with what each day of aging brings us.
Consider the possibility that we live as fully as possible when we are able so that we can then go back to our memories for those moments when the present becomes less important than the past.