There are moments in life that we ignore, that we rush past, that we take for granted. So many of these are sacred.

It’s easy to complain. There are plenty of reasons to bemoan the moments that don’t seem to go according to our plan. In that moment, our minds wander and drift to the future and stir up worry. The future is a ghost that distracts our attention. It’s a thief. Pay it no mind. Feed it none of your time. Instead, use those moments and embrace the now; give thanks for what we have—family, friends, a shared meal, laughter, love.

The now is what’s real. It’s what feeds us. Life is a study in the now. I truly believe those who accomplish great things are the most present in the moment. They see more of what is happening around them and don’t let the future affect their focus.

My view of the present is vivid. Being attention deficit, I’m rarely able to focus on a single current event. Sounds, visuals, and smells bombard me and stain my brain even when I work to block them. But I don’t see this as a curse because it allows me to drink in more of the world and, when managed properly, learn more quickly. The now is a busy place for me.

Even with this carnival stimulating my senses, my mind wanders from the now. Not really wandering, more like relating. A sight triggers a memory, which connects to another, which links to a third, and so on. I can travel decades into the past in milliseconds and then spin that moment forward into dozens of scenarios that might have been.

These trips are unwanted and unproductive. I didn’t book these flights of fancy and I’m not skilled at exiting the plane in time to avoid triggering dangerous emotions that too often spiral me out of control and cause disorientation and a loss of direction. Ironically, as often as I am annoyed with these wayward journeys, I also understand that they are part of what makes me who I am. It’s just a matter of training myself to see this time travel as a gift and to embrace it.

Even that which is a flaw should be treated as sacred. It’s meant to be part of my journey and I have the responsibility to make the most of it.

What we do with what we have in this moment with those who are in our circle of influence at that time creates the future. Nothing exists without some action. I can spend hours judging myself or others around me and nothing will change. My thoughts are useless without a next step. If I want change in myself, I need to enact different behaviors. If I want the world around me to change, I must create movement—dialog, discussion, or actions. Wishing it to be different is fruitless.

I won’t deny that I envy skills that others around me possess, but I work to not let that consume me or dilute my abilities. As with so much in life, it’s perspective that triggers what happens next.

I am not clairvoyant. I do not know how many “nows” I will have. The one before me is my only now, so how will I use it? Will I create or consume? Will I reach out or retract? Will I change the world or merely the channel?

This time is sacred. Precious. Fleeting. Scarce. It will only come once and then be gone forever. There will be a time when I sense my last moment and, in that moment, I don’t want to travel back and see millions of my sacred moments wasted or neglected. I want my last journey to be a celebration of life filled with movement and love and change. I have no expectations of a historic legacy for myself. All I desire is my time on this planet to cause a slight shift in the universe—to leave this world a better place than when I arrived. We all get that opportunity and I don’t want to waste mine.

Right here. Right now. This moment is sacred.