Thursday, October 13, 2011

Right here, right now

I’ve kind of been having a hard time writing lately, I have many posts in the making and I can’t seem to finish any of them. My head is all over the place and it’s making me even less productive than usual.

I’ve been in the throes of a stomach virus in the past few days, so I’m quite possibly dehydrated and delusional (please keep this in mind as you read this) anyway, today as I was driving somewhere to do something positively vital (or something to that effect) I started thinking that we live too long nowadays.

Seriously, for thousands of years we were old at 40 or 50, if we were even so lucky as to get that far. Nowadays we don’t even start really living until then. We are too old. Our best years are over before we’ve even lived a third of our lives. (Obviously this thought process managed to spiral completely out of control). All the things we dream of when we’re young, we’ve done or likely won’t get done by the time we’re only halfway through our lives (if that, much sooner in my opinion) so what have we got left?

I’ve reached all my major milestones, I went to University, got my first (and then second, third and fourth) job, I got engaged (!), then married (!!), then I had children (!!!) and now… well now I get to raise them and look forward to all of their milestones, but it’s not really the same is it? Sometimes it feels like the long walk towards death has started, and every minute that passes I’m just walking faster.

This is just a recap  of what my brain was flinging at me this morning. I practically had a panic attack in the car. I mean, seriously, at death’s door??

But in a way it’s true, at least for me, I’m a goal-oriented person, most of the time if I’m doing something I’m already planning the next step. And now I’ve started thinking that maybe that’s not such a good thing, not only because I have no clearly defined “next” right now, but also because if I spend my entire life thinking five steps ahead at what comes next, when do I actually concentrate on what’s going on right this minute.
I guess what I realized today (and yes, I see now that it’s obvious) is that life isn’t a series of checks to get off my to do list. 

So as of now I’m going to stop worrying about what the hell I’m going to do in the future, when we’re going to buy a house, when I’m going back to work, when this or that or the other happens because things are going to happen either way and thinking ahead does nothing but give me more time to worry or obsess. 

Or that’s my lofty goal for the month anyway. Although, I wonder… is it even possible to change our way of thinking so radically. I mean can a planner, an obsess-er and a think ahead-er really turn into a live-in-the-present-moment kind of person?

And this is the point when I start obsessing again. Will this work? What can I do to make it work? Here let me get out a pen and plan this out…. How does one stop. And. Just. Relax?

I took yoga for many years, off and on, and I loathed the meditation part of the lesson, because I simply cannot make my mind shut up and just “om” already. I don’t know how to do quiet, peaceful presence, I don’t know how to shut out thought. I mean, if I have a negative thought I know how to replace it with another more positive thought to get myself out of a funk (except for this morning, apparently), but to simply still my thoughts… impossible. So how does one live in the moment?

Cause sometimes I get the feeling that my life is passing me by, I’m living it on fast forward, and I’d just like to be present right here and now for a while. How hard can it be? Any suggestions?

p.s. and when I say living on fast-forward I don’t mean that I have to much to do, quite the opposite, my head is so all over the place I can’t seem to get anything done.


  1. Word...
    I can totally relate and have no good advice whatsoever to impart on the topic.
    Just busy bobbing my head in agreement. 
    What's with us, anyway? ;)
    When you figure it out, drop me a line!
    Meanwhile, off to argue with the opposing voices in my head. 
    Cheers, Alcira

  2. I can relate to these feelings. There isn't a whole lot of "what's next" in my life. I keep thinking I need to set a goal, a big one, and start working toward it. But I never actually do it. Sigh...

  3. I could have written this post myself - I'm so similar! I'm always worrying about the next thing (for me, the next goal is "buy a house") so I think I often miss out on just "being" and enjoying life. I look at my daughter and see how fast she's growing, I don't want to look back and think I missed enjoying it all because I was too busy obsessing about the next thing on my "to do" list. It's hard though, I don't think you can entirely change your mindset, some people are just tuned that way. At least we get things done though (most of the time!).

  4. I've been more of a planner type person myself, but my husband is very much a "live in the moment" kind of guy, and I'd have to say he's been a very positive influence for me. I'm not sure I really have any concrete advice for really *changing* your personality, other than to make a real effort to be reflective and aware of whether I'm trying to live in tomorrow or live in today. I have been able to still my mind in yoga and I found it helpful when my instructor said it's not about quashing all thought, but more about being aware when you are thinking and not being in the present, acknowledging it to yourself, and then letting it go. And when I find myself feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I allow myself to escape. I go to a coffee shop, or go get a beer or a massage, and just sit with myself for a while until I calm down. I guess if you find yourself stuck on a speed or in a rut you don't want to be in, maybe see if you can find a way that works for you to break free of it, even if it's just with your mind.