“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present. ~Babatunde Olatunji
We live in a fast paced society. We want our food as soon as we order it at the drive through. We want to check out as soon as we arrive at the check lanes in the store. We want our online orders to arrive the next day. Our pizzas must get to our door in 30 minutes or less.
We go, go, go. We forget to slow down. Stop. We’re so worried about what is coming next. What we need to do tomorrow, next week, next month. We get wrapped up in all that worry and forget about what is right in front of us. Right now.
My apartment is still a wreck from our move. Many things still do not have a place. I do my best not to worry about it. We aren’t having company any time soon and instead I focus on what I can do in the moment while I enjoy the fact that we’re under one roof again and not commuting on the weekends to see each other.
Vacations to visit family and friends are focused on being there in the moment. Enjoying the precious little time we have until it is time to leave. Sure we make plans to do lots of things. But, I one of the big things I learned while working in mental health is to adapt quickly when plans don’t pan out. In mental health, that usually happened faster than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Sometimes that happens in life and sometimes not. My best friend, Stick, has had to learn this valuable skill as a parent of a marvelous little boy who happens to have Autism. He’s my little Obi-Wan. You can read about her perspective of adapting and being in the now at This Side of Typical.
Stopping to enjoy the colors (and photograph them) at the park. Sitting out on my patio to read in the sun. Focusing on my yoga in the mornings. Listening to a song without my mind wandering to what is next. Those are all things that help me keep my stress levels down. In this go, go, go life, we can all use little ways to reduce our stress.
I’m not saying never worry about what is next. If the Jedi were around, they’d tell you to be mindful of the future. Mindful. Not worry. Not obsess. Not focus. Keep in mind what is next, but focus on right now.