Waiting. I am always waiting. As much as I try, as much as I profess to live in the moment, the truth is, I am waiting.
Waiting for the bread to finish baking.
Waiting for my child to get on the morning bus.
Waiting for warmer biking weather.
Waiting for an acceptance letter forÂ my latest submission.
I file my waiting thoughts deep in my mind. I tout the joys of Zen Living, which supposedly is being present, living in the here-and-now. I believe in that philosophy, but does anyone really live that way?
Actually, yes. I believe babies live in the moment. They have very little concept of Time so that they can do little else than live in the present. And I believe people with cognitive impairments also might live in the present as they cannot do otherwise. Their sense of Time is limited. I don't know who those people are, though. I wouldn't presume to label anyone like that, either. I just think those people exist.
The advantages of living in the present include helping one to be more attentive to others, helping one to savor the moment, helping one to be free of worry orÂ procrastination because the future is out there and not something that intrudes on the present.
The advantages of NOT living in the present include mentally removing oneself from the drudgery of the present, emotionally removing oneself from an experience one perceives as unpleasant, and building elaborate plans for the future.
I'm not being facetious here. It's true. Sometimes living in the present moment stinks. A few years ago when I had some nodes of my thyroid biopsied, I put on headphones and mentally whisked myself away to a BeauSoleil concert so that I didn't have to think about the five-inch long needle stuck into my neck.
But what about when I'm engaged in a difficult conversation with a loved one. It's tempting, but not helpful, to zone out to some imagined music. However, if I frequently channel my thoughts elsewhere, the habit is strengthened and refined, making the mental action more automatic. How much better, in the long run, to remain rooted in the present.
A lot of people have trouble with worry. Worry is another way of not living in the present. Worry often involves thinking about the future and the myriad ways that the future can go awry. Staying attuned to reality helps toÂ relegate thoughts/worry of the future to where they belong: in the future.
Procrastination is the other side of the worry coin. I won't worry about the future, but I'll keep ignoring it, putting it off, dawdling so that I don't have to face it. Life is more managable if I push it forward so that it doesn't exist for me in the present.
These habits destroy your dreams.
Last week I said I was going to require Resolutions from you. Here I am talking about Living in the Moment. Or not living in the moment because of worry or procrastination.
Here's the deal. You can write all the resolutions you want. You can set all the goals you possibly can set. But if you're going to worry about them, if you're going to procrastinate doing them, you've lost.
Live in the moment.
Set your goals.
Make your plans.
What are you waiting for?
In the comment section, share one of your goals and the first step you will take to reach your goal. Tell us, also, the deadline you've set for yourself in accomplishing that first step.
Â I had fun reading the gwwe submissions for this last prompt. If you hover for a bit over my links to the posts below, you'll seeÂ a brief critique, which I hope will reel you in to reading it for yourself.Â I've also discovered this evening that tags are disappearing from posts. If you write a post, but then go and edit it, the tags might not re-publish with the rest of the post. Hence, I might have missed some of your submissions. I apologize for that. Please let me know if that happens to you.
I'd Cut My Ear Off for This by Elsie Duggan (last week's prompt)
The Dance by Becca J.
A Moment in Time by Abbie H.
I'll Have More of That by Elsie Duggan
Da Sticks to It by Susan Budig
Prompts for January 5, 2011
- Use a quote from a book. Make your attribution like this one.
- Include the words: whippersnapper, tough bounce, & charming
- Someone needs to say, "Love is..." you can fill in the rest of the sentence
- tag with gwwe
- publish by January 11 for inclusion in next week's column
"100% of the shots you don't take don't go in." Wayne Gretzky