A popular new-age mantra says, “Be in the moment.” As someone who was raised by 1970’s hippies, I know it well. Frankly, I have never had a problem being in the moment. Instead it can sometimes cause problems for me. When you are in the moment, the past and the future does not exist. When you are in the moment, you are not thinking about tomorrow, next week, or next year. You are not thinking about consequences and you are not planning ahead. For much of my life I have been living for right now, enjoying myself and taking everything as it comes at me.
Something changed at the beginning of this year. I started being future-focused. Rather than attending to my need of the moment, I started thinking about how the thing I was doing right now would affect me tomorrow, next week, next month, and six months from now.
This is a big change for me. Who is this person who is planning activities weeks in advance? I am suddenly remembering to throw in a load of laundry tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow morning when I realize all my favorite underwear are dirty. Rather than have a third glass of wine, I am thinking about hot yoga the next day and how being dehydrated is going to result in misery. I have even gone so far as to have already planned Melody’s summer camp schedule in a handy spreadsheet. It’s February. Who have I become? And how did it happen?
This could be occurring because I have returned to my morning journal. It could also be because I am getting up at 6:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m in order to have an hour of quiet reflection and list-making time before Melody gets up and needs my help getting ready for her day. It could be that being a parent has finally caught up with me. Or perhaps I just need to work more. Whatever it is, it is truly a state of mind, and it feels like a switch was flipped.
I have no idea whether I will maintain this, or if it will fade as the newness wears off of this year. I didn’t set out to become this, but I kind of love it. Either way, it was an epiphany. There are times to be in the moment such as when you are on vacation, playing with your child out in the sunshine, or having a wonderful dinner party with friends. But there are other times that you need to open your mind a bit to include the near future.