Today, Not Tomorrow

The future starts today, not tomorrow.
Pope John Paul II

IMG_0189I am struck by how the definition of  Future changes as I have gotten old. Once when I thought of future, it stretched far out ahead of me with often very challenging set points that needed daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decades of focused attention. Future was synonymous with responsibilities to family, jobs, children, bills,  elder care, community ….a very long ever expanding  list that stretched many years forward.


Now, Future is what happens today, next week, maybe next year, with a keen knowledge that though I am healthy, fit, and full of energy, I have used up the majority of my years in this particular physical body. Clueless  if any part of me transcends this lifetime, or where that spark, essence, spirit part of me will go if it goes anywhere. I’m hoping for some ancient olive tree, or grapevine, maybe the woods between Amalfi and Pontone. Could be Heaven, could be a Redwood Tree in Northern California, …I am leaning towards trees, but would accept a pair of sturdy angel wings.

The pressure is off when it comes to contemplating Future. I focus on the details of this day. As ornate and detailed as this angel’s wings. I believe this savoring of time at the end of a life  is true for everyone. My future today includes some housework, a hike, a long distance phone conversation with a dear friend, and listening while  my daughter speaks her truth, and creating this post.



This post is in response to WordPress Friday Photo: Ornate                                     And WordPress Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half Dozen of The Other- What does Future look like to you?

I’d like to say the photos are self portraits, as I really did see this woman in the  mirror this morning. I recognized her immediately. An angel statuary I had photographed in Sorrento Italy.

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” is one of my go to points of introspection when I hear myself digging in for a fuss. And what a gift getting old has been in I do not have to remind myself much anymore.


  2. I agree also with how our perspectives change as we get older. I used to always wish to be “right” or thought people who disagreed with me were, “wrong.” Now, as some say, “There are more gray areas, less black or white situations.” Our days are passing quickly and I compromise more and “give in.” I see more beauty still than horrible things in the World, Jo.

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  3. Hi Johanna, I loved reading your blog about present and future. What you say is correct. When you grow old, you get to live in the present, passing each day as if it were the last. Actually, no matter what our age is, we should all be living life like that but alas, it is difficult when you are young as there is such a lot to be done still.

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  4. One of the things that really helps me is the realization that I do not have to be a full time guru with a best selling self help book, who levitates in private… but of course, is too humble and zen to tell anyone…just yet….That it is actually about just stopping wherever you are throughout the day and taking a good look around. And know that I spent entire years rushing around without catching my breath even once..I had to get old to understand it…which is really pretty sad…so I am really saying to you…hey…you get it now…you just told me you did…go ahead and enjoy those moments. Build on them and make them longer. No need to wait now that you know. Peace and blessings dear .

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  5. Genetics plays so much into longevity, too. I always tell my son that I’m sorry he didn’t get my bones, instead of his Dad’s. Both suffered from severe arthritic issues, and I have been fortunate in just needing a couple of ibuprofen to ward off light joint pain. I am very grateful. 🙂

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  6. I always enjoy your writing and other features of your blog JoHanna…and I relate to what you say. My sister-in-law is 95, and has a great chance of reaching the 96 of her mother, and the 98 and 99 years of her two grandmothers…and the 106 of her Aunt. The women in her family obviously are “long livers.” In my case, my great-grandmother lived to age 93, my grandmother 75, my mother 70…she was killed in a car wreck, so not due to longevity. So…since I am 81 that means I have lived longer than my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmother….. hmmm…not sure where I was going with that 🙂 Also I have good health reports, except my GYN gave me the unwelcome words: “you know you have to lose weight, right?” 🙂

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  7. Those certainly are huge mind/body/emotional/physical/and spiritual events. The kind that certainly change perspective. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and outlook with me and the readers here.


  8. After being in a coma for a month due to a traumatic brain injury I suffered when I was 21, I have always looked at the future is today. Sometimes I look at this moment in time, right now is all that we have. I also lost one of my son’s so I think all I ever have is right now, this second ❤ Blessings Great post, it reminded me of that.

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  9. ooooh, I LOVE this reponse to the photo challenge! And love your words….so very very true. I remember listening to the Beatles tune, “Will you still love me when I’m 64?” when it came out and thinking that sounded sooo funny…and 64 seemed so ancient! Well, here I am, and the song is now out of date! 🙂 But our love is still going strong so we’ve answered the song’s mantra. Our future then was full of questions, many of which have been answered by now. We still plan….but somehow the future doesn’t seem so vast. Yes yes yes to the tasks, the doings of the day. And somehow, I feel privileged that on a weekday, I can step outside and walk for an hour….slowly, savoring the stepping. The rushing has slowed down so much….very rare to be rushing these days. Rejuvenatement is divine! And certainly, when we look in the mirror we see our wings 🙂 LOVE this piece of writing. Many thanks for putting a smile on my face!

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  10. I agree that the gifts of aging are wondrous. The freedom and the patience to live slowly in the present (mostly) are real to me. My “presents” will make up my futures – like stringing beads.

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  11. Beautifully written thoughts about the future, which strike a chord. The future has looked so different since retiring a year ago. Not sure immortality would appeal – the finite is easier to appreciate. But I shall lodge a complaint if I don’t get a few more years.

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  12. Can you please tell me how you got that nifty flag counter on your site? I have WordPress, but I haven’t seen those flags as an option. I use a now-discontinued format and suspect that if I change it, I wouldn’t get it back, and I dearly love its simplicity.

    Virtual hugs,


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  13. Love your writing. This piece – while seeming so deep – explains to one degree or another – the various thoughts that tend to surge through our minds as we pursue this aging process. Keep on writing and I will keep on reading and enjoying.

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  14. Oh I am way too ornery for anything short of some surprise.
    The women in my family live very long lives, I am healthy and in great shape.
    It’s a true mystery for all of us.
    Hoping for a tree spirit though!

    I’m glad you enjoy my writing. That means so very much to me!

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  15. Welcome to the “third third”, that most interesting of life segments that can offer all kinds of transformative experiences to those who remain open to them. Becoming that angel – or olive tree – may be the final and best one. In the interim, keep shooting!

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