I'm always thinking about what has happened and what's going to happen, but rarely of what's actually happening. It takes all my mental will to force my brain to sit in the present and many times it's been far after an event that I will actually evaluate it because my mind is so much more comfortable focusing on the past. Today while I was sitting out in the sun my thoughts wandered on things that had happened, particularly missed chances, that I never looked twice at at the time. I thought of the boy in the wheel chair I walked by everyday on my way to class and how by the end of the street his arms were tired and he would struggle up the ramp carrying bags of groceries. I never once stopped. I was always in too much of a hurry or I was too tired or it was just too early for me to be nice to someone. I always thought, "Well maybe the boy behind me will help him." He never did. I will probably never get to see that boy and finally carry his groceries. I'll never get to make up for the all the times I let him struggle while I carried a two pound back pack and ate a granola bar with a skip in my step.
I'll never get back the moment after a stranger cried right in front of me and told me about her son who died in Iraq. I could've comforted her, but instead I went to the library, curled up in a desk in the corner, and cried to myself. I could've told her about an eternal family, I could've given her hope, I could've made both of us feel better, but sadly I refuse to acknowledge the things I must do now and it's only made for a guilt trip in the future, followed by more excessive planning to make up for my bad feelings. Planning for the future can only do so much. You can never live in the future, so why keep your mind there? You can't just live spontaneously, or dwell on the past either. I think we have to include all tenses. I will plan for the future, I will act in the present, and I will remember my mistakes.