Years ago, I wrote a regular column for a locally published magazine put out by women, for women. In one issue, the publisher posed a question for all of the writers and contributors: If the world stopped for a period, and you could spend the time doing anything you wanted to do, what would you do?
I remember my answer. I said I would most likely spend the time making lists of what to do when the world started again. Even at the time, I knew how pathetic that was.
We all know of the person who wishes her life away. She's never satisfied with the present but is rather always wanting it to be sometime in the future. "I wish it was vacation time." "I wish winter was over and it was spring." "I wish the holiday season was here." "I wish I was retired.”
I struggle with the opposite. I'm wanting and wishing it to be sometime in the past. In the fall, I wish it was still summer because there is so much I had intended (and wanted) to do that I didn't. So I don't enjoy the here and now of the wonderful fall season because I'm struggling to do the left-over summer tasks while berating myself for not getting them done when the weather was more favorable. And wishing I had spent more time in the hammock reading and getting a tan.
When spring comes, I'm not ready for it because I didn't experience the illusive "long, slow winter" in which to relax, rejuvenate, revel in a slower pace of life. I spend the winter "catching up", doing all those inside chores that went by the wayside when I spent my days out-of-doors in summer.
The holiday season comes and I don't fully enjoy it because there are a myriad of things that cause me to experience that screaming "But I'm not ready!" feeling. In December, I want it to be September again so I have the time to make those special gifts, fill the freezer with holiday treats and meals, make plans for entertaining.
So, what's the solution to my big, fat, hairy dilemma here? First and foremost, I need to make some changes so that I'm living in, and enjoying as much as I possibly can, the here and now. The past is gone forever, and the future may never be. Sure, I can have wonderful memories of the past and exciting anticipation of the future, but my actual, living, breathing life . . . is now. Now is where the most intense joy, happiness and well-being should (can!) come from. It has been said that you can never have a happy ending to an unhappy journey. (I think Eeyore said that.) Or perhaps (to sound less depressing and gloomy), it's not the destination that counts, but rather the journey itself. My life shouldn't be a race to see how much I can get done or how fast I can accomplish my goals. I have to learn to let in as much joy, fulfillment, happiness, love, and contentment each and every day as I possibly can.
Boy, that sounds good! I can do it. I'm GOING to do it. (Do you think a frontal lobotomy will help?)