Right now I’m sitting at my desk at work. I’m on my break. I’m considering making another cup of coffee. It’s not great coffee, it comes from that huge Kenco tub I guess many companies order in. But it’s hot, milky, and it keeps me awake. My chair is comfortable, although it leans back almost into a horizontal position if I push it too far. There’s the natural thrum of chatter surrounding me. I can hear my colleagues talking on the phone to clients, a loud and distant laugh from down the other end of the office, the clunk of a coffee cup as it’s placed onto a wooden desk. It may sound mundane, but this is where I am at this exact moment. And I’m revelling in it.
Have you heard that cute quote from the children’s film Kung Fu Panda? David says it to me all the time, and it always brings a smile to my face.
“You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present” – Grand Master Oogway
I’m not one to dwell on the past, but I am always imagining the future. I daydream about me and David buying our very own house; a little red brick one with an upstairs and a downstairs, and a patch of grass out the back just big enough for me to plant a few colourful flowers, and perhaps for a little dog to scatter all over them.
I often think of having children, of what I would name them. I wonder who they might look like, whether they would have my freckles. Perhaps they will need glasses like me.
These are lovely daydreams, and they make me so excited for the future.
But what about now? Right now, right here, is where I want to be – where I need to be.
I live right in the heart of a thriving city, surrounded by dark grey canals that glisten midnight blue in the sun, lively bars that sell bubbling cocktails, towering offices with walls made solely of shining glass.
We – David and I – have transformed a former holiday rental apartment into our home, covering the hard wooden floors with soft, colourful rugs – pillow-soft sheepskin and stripy green.
We scattered multi-coloured cushions onto an old blue sofa to give it a burst of life, and I printed off smiling photos of us to place on a shelf here, in a chunky plastic frame there.
We have a little balcony, and when the days are warm (or even when they aren’t) we throw open the doors and let the fresh air flood through the rooms. The view isn’t rolling fields or sparkling ocean; instead we can see buildings, a car park, a slither of pub garden. But this is our home.
A few years ago I would have day-dreamed about where I am now. Living in a bustling city with the man I love; visiting restaurants at the weekend, walking to work with my headphones on blasting Disney tunes at top volume.
Master Oogway is right, today is a gift, and I am too concerned about what will be.
What’s the matter with living right now?