So I was listening to a podcast this week on setting more realistic goals for myself, and it ended up being an eye opener more than anything about the relationship between time and planning for the future. I figured I’d share how my perspective has changed, plus you might get something out of it, too!
If you work a 9-5 like me, you might relate to this. We’re always looking forward to Fridays and at the same time we dread Sundays or at least in the evening because we know Monday is what comes next.
But do we?
The podcast shared this precious insight I didn’t really pay attention to until now: time is not a resource we spend like we do with everything else. We spend money shopping or we spend energy finishing a project, but time will spend itself no matter how we choose to use it. Time is literally running out whether we’re ready for it or not.
So the question is: why do we choose to spend time worrying about the future or anticipating it when all we really have is the present?
The future is not yet a reality. The present is.
I’m not saying we should not think about the future. I’m only inviting us all to consider how dwelling on it will improve the quality of our lives at the present moment.
Hoping for Fridays is the perfect example. If I spend Monday through Thursday hoping for Friday to come already, at least two things will happen:
1. Friday might not come at all.
2. I will not fully enjoy this gift called the present.
I haven’t experienced #1 otherwise I wouldn’t be here writing this, but I’m sure we’ve all gone through #2 at one point or another.
The struggle was real recently. The week of our move was also when I was using the rest of my PTOs from the office and I had been planning to go somewhere along the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy the FL West Coast sunsets, walks on the beach and sightseeing with the hubs; I might have been thinking about it for at least 2 months.
I had all my focus on that and it didn’t even happen. Hurricane Hermine ruined my plans. I anticipated an uncertain future where I thought it’d be dreamy and pure bliss, and half lived the bliss that can be found in the present.
In the end, we stayed in Jacksonville and hung out at our new place and I got some small projects done and put together this blog, but all the while thinking about my vacation plans and how Hermine had literally rained on my parade. I’m sure my husband could care less, he probably was like “Eh, I’ll be at the pool reading.”
That podcast episode was a slap on my face. I see it now that I could have enjoyed my time off more had I been in the now, no matter what lied ahead.
I still love Fridays and look forward to it, but I’ve been purposefully taking steps to be mindful about the present time, the moments between what I do know exists and what I wish will exist, the Monday through Thursday kind of days if you know what I mean.
Time flies no matter what we choose to do with it. This was a valuable lesson to add to my minimalist journey, but really, all of us have the same 24 hours to make the most of, or not. I encourage us all to be more aware of the gift we’ve been given today and to practice not worrying about what may never happen. Worrying doesn’t help, does it? (I usually think about the movie “Bridge of Spies” whenever I worry, if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about).
With all that, I was wondering if any of you have any tips about being mindful of the current moment without letting the idea of the future dominate your thoughts. How do you practice it? I’d love some tips right about now!
Happy Friday, friends and stop to smell the roses while you’re living it; or tulips. 😉