Since I’m eating about the only things left in my fridge and my meals are boring this week, I thought I’d write about a twenties issue that I’m still struggling with: finding a balance between living in the moment and being responsible in preparation for the future. I’ve never really understood the phrase ‘live in the moment’ and to be honest, I get really annoyed when people say it. If I ‘lived in the moment’ on any given day, I’d call in sick to work, eat cake for all three meals, drop $100 bucks on clothing and beer, and stay up late dancing. A couple of days of living in the moment and I would have probably quit my job and spent my savings on a cruise around the world. So how do you enjoy each moment when so many moments are taken up by making plans for the future? After-all, much of our lives are spent at school or work, both of which are ultimately supposed to help us make a living so we can be comfortable in the future.
I’ve always been very future-oriented and I think working full-time has made my future focus even worse. Now, I’m forced to think about each week in advance because if I don’t plan meals, anticipate breaks in my schedule for cooking, exercise, cleaning, and fun, or communicate with Matt about an upcoming week, then it would be impossible to keep up with all the things I have to do. At the same time, I feel like my life has lost all spontaneity because everything is always planned to a T. I’m on break this week, and I should be using these two days at home to explore a local museum or go see a movie, but instead, I’m thinking about all the things I could get accomplished: updating my resume [yet again], writing my next case study, or finally cleaning out my junk-filled bookshelves. I just want to knock things off of my to-do list so my real life can begin, but aren’t I already in my real life? I guess this goes back to the weird feeling I have that I’m stuck in some kind of in-between phase. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this feeling goes away when I start working next year.
I think the real reason I hate the living in the moment phrase is because I know that it doesn’t mean indulging in life’s pleasures; it just means appreciating each moment, even though many of those moments will be filled with annoying tasks that have to be done to prepare for the future. My Dad sent me this quote a few weeks ago and it pretty much sums up my realizations about life’s moments.
“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.”
Tomorrow, I’ll be packing before I hop on the plane to San Fran. Vacations are one time when I have no trouble completely suspending all thoughts of the future and savoring every moment (isn’t that the point of them?), so I’ll be trying to do that as much as possible over these next few days. But, the future-oriented person in me wants to invest in my readers for the future, so I’ll be posting as well:) And, stay tuned for a fun guest post on Wednesday that might help you free up more moments in your life.
k bye for now.