As a perpetual planner, I find it hard to mentally stay in one place. My thoughts constantly zip from one idea to another, giving only a few moments of pause in between. Here's one minute in the brain of Victoria:
And onward it goes, the sound of everything beating like an annoying drum in the back of my head. Although my overactive brain keeps me organized and looking forward, I struggle with the opposite---staying still and appreciating the moment.
I count a good, well-rounded list as one of my greatest friends, and they litter every space in my life: lists of the day's tasks at work, lists of needs at the house, lists of writing topics on my laptop at home. I could probably wallpaper a room with the lists I've created in the last week alone. Without them, I feel panicked and lost. But strictly following these agendas leaves no room for spontaneity. There's not time to squeeze in appreciation for the gorgeous morning light streaming into my living room right now, or the way the house is so quiet, the only sound is the dull ticking of a clock in the other room---there's not enough time.
What is life if not an opportunity to observe the beautiful things and people around us, take in experiences, and create memories to replay when you're old and schedules no longer dictate your life? There's not enough time to complete my to-do lists, but there's certainly never enough time to appreciate the magnitude of the world around me.
This year, I've made a silent commitment to myself to ease my reliance on “busy”---I must be doing this, should be thinking that, need to be planning for this---and instead focus on what really matters
It's a shift that makes the very folds of my brain uncomfortable. But it's necessary. Otherwise, before I know it, my entire life will pass while I dig myself out from a mountain of “should-do” and “need-to-do.” The things that make us the most uncomfortable enable us to grow. And it's time to do some growing.
So excuse me while I ignore this morning's agenda of cleaning my house, going for a run, and organizing my basement. There's a very impatient dog on my lap insisting he's more important than all of those things, and today, I'm inclined to believe him.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” - Jim Elliot
Friends, if you've mastered the art of mindfulness and being present, I'd love to hear your suggestions and tricks. Leave me a note in the Comments section of this post or on my Facebook page!
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.