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at the end of the day you're another day older

At night when I'm standing at the bathroom sink watching myself in the mirror brushing my teeth, I think about how only 24 hours prior I stood there doing the same thing, and what have I done between then and now? Sometimes I'm crushed that all that time has gone by and I've nothing to show for it. Sometimes I reflect on a day well spent. Sometimes I lament the quick slippage of time, regardless of how I filled those 24 hours.

Then I think of Buddha. Well, only now have I thought of Buddha when I was surfing the 'net for an appropriate quote and came across this one:
Do not dwell in the past.
Do not dream of the future.
Concentrate the mind on the present moment.
So much of what I do is repetitious: brushing my teeth each night; waking in the morning and shuffling out to the kitchen to put the kettle on for coffee; walking the same path with my dog Cassie and the same music on my iPod; driving Jack to school, then backtracking myself to work; emptying the dishwasher; folding the laundry. Even right now, wracking my brain for something to take down here: how many times before have I done this?

None of that matters, really, because here I am right now. Here I am clacking at the keyboard, sprawled on the sofa with Kismet curled against my legs, Jack snacking on pizza on the living room floor while watching Monty Python Season 1 Episode 7 for the fourth time because it's so funny. There's no reason to lament anything, nor even to reflect on anything. The lamentation and the reflection are part of my story, building blocks of who I am.

It doesn't matter that I've done this countless times previously. What matters is my Self, the person who does this now, is not exactly the same person who did this before. Did I pay attention to what happened between now and then? Not always. But I can pay attention right now.

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