Coming to Grips with the Reality of Time Takes Practice
Living in the present moment can be challenging
On some days, it feels like dueling banjos are giving a personal concert in my brain
Seems those two opposing forces of “pay attention now” and “think about tomorrow” have a knack for striking up a tune at any given time. And while sincere efforts are made to align the incongruency in some sort of melodic harmony, it’s rare the recital syncs up and plays in the same key.
So what causes this chaotic tune to affect my mental balance?
I’m pretty sure I’ve pinpointed the problem: My mind is usually in a state of thinking about what I need to do, where I need to be, and what I need to finish — all future activities and events that have nothing to do with right now.
And that leaves little or no room for enjoying the present moment.
Frankly, I don’t even know if the future I’m envisioning will ever materialize. At least, not in the way I imagine.
All the worry and stress of attempting to plan a non-existent situation or scenario drains my enthusiasm for what’s happening around me. Even worse, I’ve finally come to realize the here-and-now — that time and place in which we all reside at any given moment — will not repeat itself, will not be changeable, and won’t ever happen again.
And that’s a pretty frightening thought that begins to raise a few questions.
What if I waste my “now” in exchange for the unknown?
What if I can’t think of something interesting or amazing to do in the moment and my mind starts to skip away to some future time?
What if I’m so worried thinking about how to fill my present moments that they’re completely wasted and become filled with stress and anxiety?
Frankly, that’s a lot of what if’s
And the influx of those invasive queries typically cues an overload warning signal in my already exhausted brain. And that’s when I hear the banjo strings begin to warm up.
But I’m not in the mood for another twangy song.
So for the moment, I’m going to sit quietly with my cup of coffee and inhale the rich aroma, allowing my eyes to drift toward the grassy lawn outside the window and the changing patterns of shade across the lush, verdant carpet.
Short of staring at a blank wall, the calming scene is the only respite that momentarily quiets the concert in my head, and allows my senses to absorb the wonders of life and nature to stream in.
And if that doesn’t work, I’m investing in a harmonica. Maybe I can find a way to join the band.
In health & happiness,
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P.S. Here’s a previous story you may have missed …
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Jill Reid is the author of Real Life, Discover Your Personal Truth, Life in Small Doses, and Please God, Make Me A Writer. Her books, videos, and newsletter explore life, relationships, self-improvement, health, and personal success strategies for working through the challenges of everyday life.
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