When I was introduced to Peter, my partner’s father, I connected with him right away. I loved his sense of humor—how he made everyone around him laugh—his optimistic outlook on life, and his kind heart. The fact that he is the father of the man I fell in love with is reason enough to like him, especially because he did an amazing job raising his son.
Almost instantaneously, we established a deep bond. Whenever he would call his son, he wanted to speak to “his Annie” as well. That’s what he called me, Annie, which was very touching because the way he said it was always filled with love and care. I especially enjoyed spending Sundays with Peter and his wife. Our time together was always filled with laughter and fun.
Then Peter was diagnosed with stage-three small cell lung cancer. Doctors said he had three to six months to live, and chemotherapy wasn’t an option in his case. It was a hard time for all of us—but it taught us to focus on the present moment—on today—and to be there for him.
Fifty years of smoking had taken its toll, and it was extremely heartbreaking to see Peter’s body giving up on him, while his soul and spirit wanted to live. Every time I would ask him how he was doing, he would respond, “I am doing good, Annie. Can’t complain.” He preserved his playful spirit almost until his final moments. Five months after the horrible diagnosis disturbed our happy life, Peter was gone—three weeks before his 79th birthday.
My beloved Peter will always stay in my memory and in my heart. In between the sad and reflective moments, I began focusing how we live our life each and every today. Are we intentional? Do we stay in the present moment? What choices do we make on a daily basis? Where do we put most of our energy? And I realized that only today matters.
So many people today live either too much in the past or become overly concerned about the future, worrying about what’s to come. In Peter’s case, the past was already gone, and nothing could be done to change it. Then, after the diagnosis, we couldn’t really think about the future because there was none. All we had was the present.
We can only live today. We can only take action now. The choices we make today eventually make us. So, why don’t we bring conscious awareness to what we do today? Why don’t we think about the long-term consequences of our choices today that will impact not only our lives but also the lives of the people we love? If only Peter had brought his conscious awareness to his smoking habit before the damage was irreversible…but we are all responsible for our own life—the good and the bad.
We are the epicenter of our own universe. It all begins and ends with us. And what we experience in the present is the result of our previous choices and decisions. The law of cause and effect is always in motion.
Start living intentionally. Take care of your health, be mindful of what you eat, and exercise. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Do it not just for yourself, but also for the people who love you. I know health is just one aspect of intentional living, but it’s the one that hits home for me right now, the catalyst that started me thinking. What will be your motivator?
Understand this: Today matters because it determines your future.
Don’t waste your life now on things you might regret in the future. Seventy-eight years might seem like a long time, but, according to Peter’s words, “It flies by really fast.”
Maximize living in today.
Anna Trishch is a lover of life, an author, a life coach and a public speaker. Coming from a very modest background in a small Ukrainian town, she faced many challenges and financial hardships as a child and teenager. Although Anna’s parents were loving and caring, they came from a victimhood mentality that did not resonate with her soul. A believer that we are the creators of our own life, Anna went on to study at Ostroh Academy, one of the best Ukrainian universities. Today, she speaks four languages and lives her dream life in Miami. She helps people to discover the universal truth about human greatness and unlimited human potential; it is never about resources, but always about resourcefulness. Visit her online at www.annatrishch.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786-768-4130.