In times of trouble, people are quick to offer words like these:

All we have is this moment; it's important to live each and every one.

It's a truth, but it's not The Truth, and to think so is to do your life a disservice.

The Future always exists. It won't be the present moment; it may take a familiar shape, but it's never identical. You may have a place in it, continuing your time as a living, breathing, thinking creature; you may have a place in it as a memory. Your place in the next moment may be a simple one: a collection of tiny universes, spinning and dancing as their existence demands, but no longer as an ephemeral collection of time and experience capable of knowing itself. That quantum of the whole will be done, and the whole will take back the atoms it loaned, to do with them what it will. You are, every moment, a gift unearned; perpetually destined for unmaking, already claimed as an unrecognizable piece of nothing we will ever know.

You have this moment; the Future will always have you.

That's why it's vital, yes, to live in this moment by thinking of the next, and the next after, continuing to horizons unwitnessed and unimaginable.

You have this moment; the Future will always have you.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Louis Pasteur, from an 1854 lecture at the University of Lille.

Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.
In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.

Imagine a boat on the water, surrounded by fog.

There's an undeniable beauty to the moment: a peace that comes from calm and quiet; a presence and focus only possible when the rest of the world is hidden from view.

Wisdom knows that that peace rides a river of tension; that that focus rightly belongs to the moment after. A world hidden from view isn't suddenly and miraculously free of rocky shorelines, and only by knowing where we are now and which direction we face, and where we were before, and where we hope to go, can those rocks be avoided. Without preparation, without maps and headings, without adaptation born of informed choices, the boat may never reach shore.

You have this moment; the Future will always have you.

It's easy to spot the people who live a bit too entirely in this moment, ignoring or incapable of looking to the next.1 They know they'll need to use their dishes; knowing that, those dishes are still dirty. They know they'll need to buy food2; knowing that, they're unaware of how much money they have. The best of them are full of tips and tricks, cheats and hacks; their proverbial tool-belts are heavy with ways they've learned to ride the waves the fog hides.

Life has a wave ready to swamp anyone. The prepared may see it coming in time to turn and face it, but at worst, they will have a life jacket on to keep them afloat, ready for rescue. Those too invested in "the moment" fill with water they can't expel.

You have this moment; the Future will always have you.

1 In my own life, both autism spectrum disorder and ADHD combined to steal the energy needed to see and prepare; one of the greatest gifts my medication offers is rediscovered ability: to see the shape of things to come, and to ease my own way forward. Not every ship in the fog is there because its captain chose inattention or inaction.