My problem is when I am doing something, I jump to thinking of doing another. Or when I am already middle of something, my brain got distracted of the next thing I should plan to do. Like, if I am reading a book, some moments I would think what I would at for lunch, what I would do at 3pm, 5 or 6pm that day. It makes days now and then going by stressfully busy, because there will always plans and lists of things to do. I do that all the time. I always need or should have plans. Just at this moment, I was planning to read a book. I planned earlier to hike, then reached a point for stopping and reading. But i kept hiking. Because there was no point perfect yet and i didn’t want to stop. But it was part of the plan. So i finally found one. Stopped. Open the book. Read few pages. And unconsciously thought about continuing to walk because I need to come back home at some point. I had other plans to finish at home.
This is why I am rarely at rest or peace.
So I closed the book. I was annoyed and pissed at myself. I asked “Why do you keep doing this?“. Either you wandered in nostalgia, a past, a longing for something/someone no longer be a part of your present life. Then you don’t feel satisfied with presence. Or you fly forward to the future, in which you are supposed to have all the plans but never sure that would ever work. Then you have the pressure of making it work, or the disappointment when it does not. You are not satisfied with your presence.
I asked myself again :”So really, why?“. Remember five whys you might be taught in your Marketing class? I am doing it right now.
I always need to have plans. I guess it was because without plans, I will be seen as a person without any clues for future, not prepared. And that was certainly not how I was taught. I was trained to follow a beaten path, a path with all the plans. Simply said (but often not simply done), I have plans to draw in front of me to follow. Since I moved abroad, I started to go off that beaten path. Surprisingly, I didn’t stop drawing up a beaten path of my own. Because I was supposed to be that girl who knew what she was doing. Because I need that to have my parents realise I am good enough, and I am not worse than the neighbour kid.
I asked myself again with the past, “Why?“. I guess it was because the past is something done. I know what was good, and what was bad. I know the outcome. So my brain could pick between good things and bad things to think about. And because nostalgia is a human thing, to want for something you don’t have. When you do have it, there are other questions coming to mind. You even find out you might not want it as much as you thought.
Then I asked myself again, “Why not the present?” My present is not the best, but what I went through was certain not either. I only picked out lovely things to long for, but forgot the bad ones. And once I am reminded by the bad ones, they become ghosts which have yet remained to my life. I can’t let go. Future is uncertain. Clearly uncertainty cannot be better or worse, I will never know.
So why not present? So why not just finishing a thing I started to do, finish it and then plan the next thing. So why not just doing nothing even? Present now is sitting under the sun, listening to a strong wave of wind shaking all the trees and their leaves. They are dancing around me. Maybe they are happy summer will soon arrive too. Present is mountain appearing in front of my eyes. Present is grey rock under my feet. Present is white slash over blue clear sky. Present is the book I am reading, which was written by my current employer, and even though I do not belong to their target group, I have enjoyed it, picked up quite few tips for my own. Present is I have just finished my thesis, finally, and even when it is not yet 100% perfect version, I have just finished writing everything!
I know, believe me I do, it is hard to forget all these when life carries you on. You forget a lot of wise things you told yourself once. You forget you only need to focus on NOW. Since you have lists of things to do for tomorrow, next week, next month. And you might feel what I just said was nonsense. And you might think I have no purpose. And I cannot say you are wrong about the last one, I have not figured out either. But other things you have in mind, I had them too when bumping into all sort of writings online. I got burnt out for a period of time, and the result continued now (not that it will be applied on you, you might be much better in time management than i will ever be).
So I hope at least, whenever you feel overwhelmed, just a few seconds, as I did today when I closed the book, asking yourself :”Why not the present?”