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.

6 thoughts on “Future Focused

  1. Yes, I think our mom’s version of living “in the moment” is not the same as being fully present and enjoying it. I believe that being mindful of the future enables me to enjoy the moment because I am not thinking about the million things I’ve put on the back burner. Peace has replaced my anxiety. Sometimes I think balancing responsibility and spontaneity is what it means to grow up.

  2. Good morning sweet Harmony! I so love quiet time especially in the mornings. It sounds like a lovely quiet time with SELF; and your epiphany gets you organized and saves you time to be enjoying the moment with yourself and Melody and loved ones! Thanks for your words Dear One! Love always to your beautiful family! ❤

  3. I remember getting emails from my sister in Victoria BC before 7:30am during the time that she was raising two toddlers, as it was her only time of peace. Now they are teens and I hear from her less at that hour, but I imagine it’s a common shift. I love the idea of balancing future planning and responsibility with the present and mindful “now”. I recently decided to have the future I desire, I need to change my present. I can’t decide if that’s living forward or living now?

    1. I suppose the present is merely yesterday’s future. You are taking action now that affects real change in the months ahead. That is exactly what I am talking about. : ) Go!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s