I am browsing my friend’s album on Facebook when I saw this photo. This was during our trek to Mt. Pinatubo few years ago. The colors are vivid and I look alright, it actually exudes a calm and happy mood. So different from what I actually felt at that very moment.
I was working on a graveyard shift when the trip was planned. I said yes right away to my friends who organized it, without giving it some thought. My life was a hive of activity. First and foremost, I was juggling a full-time job and and an equally demanding part-time job that I hardly had room to breathe. I counted on this trip as a respite from the pressures of the daily grind.
On the day of the trip, I arrived at the meeting place without a shuteye, straight from my shift, but all set for the wonderful adventure that was yet to happen. There was a van waiting that would take us to a place in Zambales where we would take the 4×4 Jeep to the trekking point.
My brain was conditioned to only think about the good, the glamorous, and the beautiful part of the trip — 4×4 jeep ride, 15 minute trek to the crater, and picturesque turquoise crater lake. I never made a research or asked my friends how the hike would be. Imagine my dismay when the bad, the ugly, and the unglamorous reality dawned on me. We took the long route — 2 hour hike, 5.5 km. trail of stones, boulders & stream, and scorching heat of the sun. I was panting, silently swearing, and verbally lamenting on the inconvenience the hike was causing me all throughout the two-hour hike, which reminded me of how I allowed resentment to take over instead of facing the challenge with grace.
There are times in life that we choose to focus on the finish line instead of enjoying the journey.
In my Mt. Pinatubo hike experience for instance, I had a choice to deal with the situation rationally instead of emotionally— to be gentle and look at the brighter side of it instead of being catty. By choosing the latter, I became a burden to my friends, a baggage that they had to carry all throughout the journey.
That moment of my life has gone by, I could not go back to it anymore and fix my attitude. The only best thing left for me to do at present is learn from it and be better with overcoming my negative emotions.
That trip is a reminder of three things:
Stop rushing, life is not an emergency.
Today is a present, don’t miss to enjoy every single moment.
Treasure the blessings of the present, for whatever we have at this very moment is the only surest thing we got.
A moment lost can never be recovered, and oftentimes we are left with nothing but what ifs.
So whoever you are, wherever you are right now, and whatever situation you may be in, enjoy your present —
for every experience has a purpose, a joy to offer and a lesson to impart.
Photos by Chou Quirante, from the Facebook album of J. McCabe.