If you didn’t know already, I tend to write these posts very far ahead. I’m just a person who sees a deadline and finishes a project several weeks prior. I’ve always been that way, and this blog is no different. So although, again I am writing this two weeks before you will ever see it, I’m also using it as a reminder for you all and especially myself.
In today’s society, we only have one direction to go, and that’s forward. Time seems to whirl past as we adjust our mindsets to the next best thing to arrive. I’m not against that by any means because I have always been very future and goal-oriented. But this double-edged sword leads us to forget the moment we are actually in. The present moment.
While it’s great to not procrastinate so you don’t have to worry about things later, I have had times where it leads to problems. I took a few online classes this summer, and for two of them I finished them months ahead of time. But if a professor expects everyone to wait until the last minute, they feel no problem changing details in an assignment not thinking somebody finished it days ago. Or I’ll be up way too late writing an essay that I can’t even turn in until next week. I know this is a habit I won’t be giving up any time soon (especially with many years of school ahead), but I don’t want to stress myself out or become overwhelmed over meeting unrealistic expectations, getting lost in my strong work ethic and potentially missing out on the other aspects of college that can be just as important.
I feel like this mindset I find myself in can easily contribute to my eating disorder. When I’m so driven toward what I want in the future, I forget that I am alive right now, and I can never reach any goals I set for myself if I don’t take care of my body today. In a disordered mindset, it’s difficult to connect the present obsession with numbers and size with the family and career-filled future I desire. Part of recovery is realizing that harmful behaviors now cannot successfully fit into a full life. It will always hold you back. Trying to maintain an unrealistic standard now slowly crumbles anything beyond those physical, insignificant details.
Back to a more lighthearted topic of my blog, I have noticed that when I write something even a few days before its publishing date, I finish a post and don’t really think about it again. I even forget what I actually already wrote. I want to write more about my stance on current events, but I know that if I want to work ahead, those topics probably aren’t even relevant anymore. So I try and write about other topics that aren’t time-conscious, but I can forget truly how quickly things can change. I’ve said before how much I love change, but even I can underestimate its potential. Little did I know that within my first weekend back in the swing of college, I’d get involved with one of the most wonderful guys I’ve ever met, that I’m so at peace and comfortable with. I’m writing this on my first Monday of classes, and we’ve only seen each other for the past two days, but it feels like we’ve been together for years. I’m definitely blown away.
While I admit I’m always changing my goals and what I want because I’m so indecisive, I’ve experienced so often how plans can change and you have to just roll with the punches and hope for the best. We somehow have to juggle appreciating each day as it comes with a flexible, open mindset. We want to rush into whatever comes next while disregarding how the current moment affects things. We end up stressing and overthinking for no reason. And places that seem like they’re going in slow motion, like island communities, are actually just taking their time and “smelling the roses.” Or should I say, the coconuts.
I know this post is all over the place, but I encourage all of you to start becoming more mindful of this present moment. All of the things you might pass over deserve your attention and gratitude, too. Simple activities like enjoying a meal or brushing your teeth are so commonplace, we don’t really notice the details. Notice the sensations of the simple tasks, and they become much more meaningful. Wake up every morning with a mindset that this moment isn’t always given. Life becomes so much more extraordinary when we don’t just pass over it and rush through everything. Each second that ticks by has a purpose. If we try and trick time to function tailored to our own desires, we will never win.
So ambition is great. Looking at life in the big picture is great. But we also need to examine the details. Life isn’t a meal at Burger King where you can have it your own way. We only have so much control. We can set as many goals as we want, but we must be willing to adjust as every day arrives.
Who knows, maybe the next best thing is realizing that we already have the best thing. Right here, right now.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie