I'm laughing as I'm writing this because I know that some of ya'll read the title and are thinking "Didn't she JUST say to be Present?!" I know I know, it seems like I'm saying the exact opposite; BUT, give me a moment to explain. So for those of you just tuning in, we are on day 7 of a series called "30 Lessons in 30 Years.". Woah! Wait, it just hit me.... we're 1 week in! YES! PROGRESS! Ok ok, let me digress. So yesterday (Day 6) was all about being present in today. Today's lesson is not the opposite, but something that works in tandem. In my 30 young years of life, I have learned to:
PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
Now I know you know about the Covid 19 Pandemic. This is something that transcended culture, race, region, time zone, affluence,... everything. Covid said "Everybody can get it" and shut down THE WORLD. This shutdown separated two groups of people. Those who prepared and those who didn't. Now I know, NOBODY (at least most of us regular citizens of the world) saw this coming. So it's not fair to say "you weren't prepared". That's true! But what covid did was make everyone realize how prepared they are in case anything happened. In case you lost your job. In case your significant other passes. In case there was another shutdown. In case whatever. Now I'm not saying to start panicking and doing things in fear that it'll all end. But what you do today will directly affect your tomorrow. And being prepared for tomorrow actually helps you be present.
We all have hopes and dreams and aspirations. There is something/s we all want to accomplish (at least I hope all of you do). But we can't just hope that it will happen, we have to do things that will get us closer to those goals. Every day we gotta ask ourselves "What can I do today, that will help me get a step closer to my goal?" It doesn't even have to be a lot, it could be one thing. It could be doing a little research for an hour. It could be taking a class to get better at that thing. It could be working out to stay fit for the role you want. It could be going to a meet and greet to network with people in that field, reading a book on the subject, watching a how-to video, making a few samples of the product you want to sell, writing the vision down and making it plain. Man! EVEN TAKING A NAP or just making sure you go to bed early so that you can have the energy and stamina to continue can be productive. DO SOMETHING TODAY that's going to make tomorrow a little easier and better for you. SOMETHING!
A lot of us live life saying "Why do today what I can save for tomorrow?" Well, the answer to that is BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING. Now, these 2 completely opposite statements are both true:
Tomorrow will come
Tomorrow is not promised
Now when I say "tomorrow will come", what I mean is, so far in your entire life Tomorrow never didn't come. Your entire life there has always been a tomorrow. But for some reason, we will sometimes do nothing to prepare for it. Whenever I would plan a wedding, I always tell the couple "Let's get as much done before the wedding day as we can. Because the day of can kind of be a hectic day, so let's not save anything to add on to that day if we can just get it done now." If the venue will allow you to set up the night before, DO IT! If you can get your makeup artist and photographers to show up (fly in, stay at the same hotel...) the night before, DO IT! If there is any part of your hair getting done that you can do the day before, DO IT! If we can get the centerpieces, party favors, and bridal party gifts, done up, tied up, and packaged up weeks in advance, DO IT! If we can pack your honeymoon bag weeks in advance, DO IT! If you can arrange rides for everybody weeks in advance, DO IT! WHATEVER YOU CAN DO before the day of... DO IT. Because if you do, you'll be able to be fully present and enjoy the day. Preparing for tomorrow helps you be present in today.
Now when I say "Tomorrow is not promised" you already know what that means. Now I may not know what tomorrow will bring, but I can make sure that I do what I can today. Did you know that about 106 million people don't have life insurance? Do you know what happens when their tomorrow doesn't come? Tomorrow will come for the people they left behind, and tomorrow for them will be crazy hectic. No will, no deed, no life insurance, nobody knows your password to anything, no way they will have an easy time. How about if you say "I'll do my project tomorrow morning" and then tomorrow you wake up with a violent illness? Are you going to get your project done in the hospital? I mean, I know these sound extreme but it's real! I bet you can think of days where you wished you had just done more yesterday. Tomorrow is not promised and even if it is, you never know what it's going to bring. Do you get what I'm saying?
Here are a few examples of how I've been able to prepare for tomorrow:
Keeping ahead at least 1 month's rent: Now I'm not ball'n YET so 1 month is all I can afford right now. But should anything happen where I lose my job or ability to make money (like a PANDEMIC!) then I've bought myself 1 month to figure it out.
Keeping money on my laundry card: This may seem unimportant to you, but there was 1 summer where I had like NO MONEY (check out this testimony Tuesday episode of why that was), but I had clean clothes because I had a few loads worth of money on my laundry card. (Keep money on your public transportation card too if you use public transportation, or gas card if you have one)
Keeping a good amount of non-perishable food in my pantry: If I have no food... I got food. But also, check the dates on them periodically. You don't want a bunch of expired canned goods to rely on.
Setting Goals: I tell you, if not for goal setting I would still be at home living with my mama wondering why I'm not closer to my dreams. Clear written goals help move you further in life.
Having a folder of approved photos for my funeral: Laugh at me if you want to, but ya'll not bout to have me looking crazy at my own dang funeral lol!
Charging all of my devices (and portable chargers): The number of blackouts I've experienced.... yyea this has come in handy MANY times (And I keep candles on retainer!)
Getting things done while I am present, in good health, and have the energy: A lot of people who know me will tell you "Woods works hard!" And I do. I want to get whatever I can get done now while I am still able. I don't know how many times I've heard "If Woods hadn't..... then we would be SOL right now." Yes, yes you would. Get it done while you can. Not only that, I love to sleep, so if I get it done now... I don't have to wake up early to finish it. HALLELUJAH!
MARINATE THE MEAT THE NIGHT BEFORE!: Some of ya'll be marinating ya'll food for 2 seconds. I know sometimes it's an impromptu meal, but if Monday you knew you were going to make ribs for the Friday event, then by Wednesday you could've already sat that thang in some epis to make sure it's flavorful. The Heck! With ya'll bald aaahh food! (Rolls eyes and lol)
There's so much more I can write, both big and small, but I hope you get what I'm saying. Please share with us anything you could add to the list. Ok, one last thing: Imagine wanting to build a business, and you don't write the plan and don't work towards it, and then one day somebody shows up who can afford to help you fund the business. All you have to do is show them your plan... But you don't have it. How would you feel if you missed out on that opportunity, simply because you didn't prepare? I know it sounds weird.... but it's happened. Don't miss your shot because you didn't prepare for tomorrow. Whatever you can do today, to set yourself up for tomorrow... do it.
I love ya'll for real... talk to you TOMORROW!
Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time