I think one needs to respect the future to appreciate "the now".
I'll use this photograph as an example.
Our dog Mulder is 14 1/2 years old. We know he's nearing the edge of his life span. He also has stage 2 kidney disease (and as I'm typing this I hope it hasn't advanced to stage 3 -- he has a regular checkup a week before this publishes and he'll be re-tested then). Throw in some orthopedic issues, a funky sleep schedule, deafness, and a little anxiety/dementia, and well, there's a reason we call him our "little old man" now. He's living in the human equivalent of assisting living. His quality of life remains good, but we have chosen and have the flexibility to adapt our lives to his since this high maintenance mode of living with him started a year ago. And we'll adapt to the end.
I think you can tell that we love our dog. He is a part of our family and has been for 14+ years. He helped get us through the loss of our other dog Scully. He was seven when she died, and we didn't have to come home to an empty house. Our goofy dog was happy to be top dog, and his personality made us smile even though we were aching over the loss of our first dog. As much as we all wish our dogs wouldn't bark at the UPS guy or the kids that are squealing across the street, a silent house is worse.
I tell you all this not to have you think that I mope around the house thinking these things all the time. I don't. But I am introspective and aware of the reality of "the now" and the predictable nature of our relatively near future.
And so the other evening when I saw Mulder put his head on my husband's foot, them both napping, I recognized it as one of those "appreciate the now" moments. It was very sweet. After taking my mental snapshot of the moment, I hoped I could get my camera and get back to the living room without my dog moving. Luckily, I did.
I hope you all continue to appreciate your Now moments. With your kids, your partner, your friends, your pets. Even that beautiful sunset. You don't have to take a photograph of them. But take a few seconds/minutes, put your phone down, and absorb it.
Savor your Now moment.
Update - 4/20/15 - Mulder's test results were good. He's stable at stage 2. :)
~Barb Kellogg, photographer, tea drinker, and dark chocolate lover