September 11, 2012

We Only Ever Have Today.

Photo: NYTimes

I was in a job interview.

People started running around and yelling and making phone calls.

I looked at what was up on CNN on someone’s computer and my brain couldn’t make sense of it. It didn’t seem real. I thought my dad was flying to California, so I immediately tried to get him on the phone. It was chaos. It turned into days of chaos. Weeks of chaos. Checking in with friends who lived in the city. Watching the news. Not being able to stand the news anymore so we watched a DVD of old Seinfeld episodes to feel something other than sad and horrified.

On September 10th, 2001, I was staying in the Millenium Hilton next to the World Trade Center. We had been in the city for a wedding. My (then) fiance and I talked about going to the top of the towers. I had been before and he hadn’t, but we were short on time and funds so we said, “Next time.”

Next time is an illusion.

We never have next time; we only ever have now.

It was a small loss, a minor disappointment in the wake of so much destruction, but it taught me something enormous.

The only day we ever have is today:

When I saw this posted to Facebook this morning, I remembered what day it was.

It’s today.

Today is the day to tell people you love them.

Do that thing you’ve been putting off.

Be more generous than you have to.

Be fully present.

Hug a little bit longer.

Celebrate, just because it’s Tuesday.

Have the second glass of wine.

Write a letter, a real one, and send it.

Call the person you’re mad at.

Say you’re sorry.

Be extraordinary.

Give everything, everything, because the only time you can is now.

Don’t save anything for next time.


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