live for today

i've been working more on my writing...i found out a few weeks ago that they "extended" our creative writing class, so i will get at least two more stories critiqued over the next 10 weeks. david and i have been talking about documenting our hilarious wedding adventure (if you haven't already heard, we got married one week after hurricane ike, in our house with no power)...so that will probably be my first submission.

i have also been working on a rewrite of the first story i submitted for class, which chronicles the events following my sister's death, through the funeral.  i am hoping to submit for a contest at memoir (and) next month. i have also come across creativenonfiction.org, which has been immensely helpful in finally understanding the type of writing i hope to create. it seems to be the perfect description of the writing i have been doing, and aspire to publish someday.

finally, i finished my "this i believe" essay! this is something i've been meaning to do since i heard my first episode on npr 4 years ago. i'm still tweaking it a bit, but i thought i'd put it out there...as a promise that i WILL submit it very soon. and if you've never heard this i believe...be sure to download a podcast to your iPod!
I believe I must live for today.

There is something freeing about learning to live in the present moment. Freedom from the must do's, should do's, and a focus on what I am doing. Right now. I have learned mindfulness from Buddhism, encouraging engagement and participation in each moment. The ability to find steadiness in the extremes of our hectic lifestyles. And self-help books that promote "living in the moment" and "being present" in our everyday lives.

But this belief is mostly a result of life experience.

In my early 20's, I was a typical college graduate, dreaming of the big job, the corporate office, house with the white picket fence. Always thinking I'd be happy when I got the promotion, my name on the door, met the right guy…

When I was 27, my life changed forever. Two weeks shy of her 25th birthday, my sister and her husband were murdered in their home. In the moments after I heard the news, everything shifted. The future vanished, my plans dissolved, there was no room in my grief for "someday."

As the years have passed since her death, and I've moved further along on my journey, I have refined this belief. Over time, I have perfected it, and finally realized it's place in my life philosophy.

We never know what can happen in the blink of an eye. Some may call it morbid, but I fully expect to be hit by a bus at any time. I know how quickly life can change. I have learned that we can only control this one moment. I hug my husband tightly, tell him how much I love him. I am fully present and engaged at the hospital, as a medical social worker. Even mundane daily activities…coffee tastes richer, music sounds sweeter, the feel of sand between my toes becomes cause for celebration.

Because I live for today, I worry less about tomorrow. I aim to live without regret for what might have been. And I never take for granted the gift of each day my little sister will never enjoy. I still have dreams for the future, but they are never as lovely as the moment I am in right now.


  1. I'd love to read some of your writing! Have you posted it anywhere?

  2. maybe you could read my story for my next class before i turn it in...i always like feedback!

  3. "to live without regret for what might have been."

    I love this and fully agree.