This Right Now

Earlier today a woman named Kane Tanaka, aged 116 years and 66 days was officially recognised as the oldest living person in the world.

She seemed to be very excited and genuinely surprised and honoured by the recognition given to her by the Guinness World Record.

Asked what part of her life she’d enjoyed most, she replied “This right now”

Her response surprised me and connected me to something I seem to have lost a sense of within me recently, which is to enjoy the moment.

The celebratory moments in life can be sparse and fleeting, and although Kane Tanaka-san was enjoying a celebratory moment, her response did not seem to me to be about the event marking her distinguished age, but rather a philosophy which had contributed to her longevity.

I have experienced deep periods of unhappiness and frustration during my life and although in recent years I have experienced a greater understanding and openness with self, I still seem to live significant periods of my life waiting for tomorrow.

I know that this attitude to my life is destructive and in a sense it is wasteful. It is an approach to life which is denying it’s craving need to just be, to just be who I am in the moment, no matter how good or how bad I feel.

My way of being, my way of not being present, is fueling within me a sense of guilt and hopelessness because I know deep down to my core that I am capable of being so much more.

Kane Tanaka-san spoke to me today in her brief response in Japan and I heard her, I heard her loud and clearly in my heart, here in England – domo arigatou gozaimasu.

William Defoe


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