I’ve never been good at living in the present. Everyone always says “Enjoy the moment!” or “Make every second count!” and the pressure of it all makes me nuts. I think I’m hardwired to live in the past and the future (usually the future).
When I live in the present, it’s because I’m actively trying.
Over the past few months, I’ve made a conscious effort to live in the present, even if it’s only for 5 seconds every day. Really–sometimes I can only get 5 seconds of present living before I’m back to the future!
I learned my lesson the hard way. I used to live for the weekend. Every Monday, I’d begin my race through the week with a steady eye on the weekend. Here we go–flying through Monday, skipping over Tuesday, sailing through Wednesday, almost there Thursday, finishing with Friday, and HELLO SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!! LET THE FUN BEGIN!
I wasn’t living. Every single week, I was wasting 120 hours and enjoying 48 hours.
Now here’s where my real problem came in…
Let’s say Saturday and Sunday were crappy days. Let’s say I had some obligations to fulfill and didn’t even get to enjoy Saturday and Sunday.
Now I’ve wasted 168 hours, and I am PISSED.
But here we go–sliding into Monday morning and the cycle begins again!
Finally, something jostled in my brain. One useless idea moved to the side to make room for another that said, “How about enjoying the present?”
Ever since then, I’ve been trying hard to make that happen. I want to be a participant in my life. I want to actively live it.
Today we went for a walk in the woods and, for a good 20 minutes, I didn’t think about the past or the future. Twenty minutes is a major accomplishment, so thankfully it seems to be getting better with practice.
“Forever – is composed of Nows –” Emily Dickinson