Can you have have a “practice life”?

A little while ago, my friend AJ wrote a post titled “This is not your practice life.” I’ve been thinking quite a bit about that statement and about his post.

In his post, AJ says, “I began to recognize that living for tomorrow is nowhere near as potent as living for right here and right now.”

I’ve felt that way for quite awhile. For a long time, I’ve tried as best as possible to live my life based on the statement “Be Here Now”. We only have one life to live, and the more time we spend regretting the past or worrying about the future, the more we lose precious moments of today.

However, I have been very grateful for the opportunities for “do overs” and to start again. This has happened twice in my life.

In 1991, I “ran away” from home and moved thousands of miles away to go to college. The college I chose was not a good choice, and by the end of my junior year I left without a diploma. I chose the college because it was far away from my troubles at home — and didn’t factor in other options like I should have. And, by the end of the three years, the demons that haunted me were still there. I had just postponed dealing with them for three years. I also added a bunch of debt into my life that I didn’t need.

Less than a year after dropping out, I had made a big cross country move again. For this move, I chose Washington, DC and I was determined to get my life headed in a different direction. The good news is that this time it worked. Through lots of counseling sessions, good friends and mentors that helped me along the way and lots of introspection, I was able to move my life forward.

The same thing happened in my move to Tennessee. I moved to Tennessee back in 2012 because my life in California had become a bit stale. A lot of my good friends and families had moved away (most to Utah), and I was spending more and more time being a hermit hiding out in my apartment without much to do. I was hoping that moving to Tennessee and being near my sister would get me out of my shell a bit. And, also allow me to make some new decisions regarding religious worship, my social life and other things.

For a whole bunch of reasons, when I moved to Tennessee, I decided to live in Goodlettsville. This seemed like a good choice, but really wasn’t. In addition, when I first moved I was dealing with a medical condition that would take a couple months and a surgical procedure to get corrected. It wasn’t anything life threatening, but it was painful and annoying. A few months after finally getting the medical condition addressed, I broke my ankle.

In many ways, it felt like I had just transplanted my California life to Tennessee. It was just a new location and nothing had changed.

I knew I needed a “do over”, so when my lease came up after the first year I decided to move closer to my sister up to Clarksville. The “moving” part was really annoying, but I’m very glad that I did it. It gave me the opportunity to recommit to those goals that I had made when I first moved to Tennessee.

While it is true that we don’t have a practice life, and we don’t have the opportunity to relive days, I am grateful that we have the opportunity to rethink and course correct when needed.

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