It’s early morning (9:45am), well at least in the Carty household, and Mr.C will be getting up soon to head off to work. As usual I’m awake before he is and have snuck away to kitchen to sit in the stillness of our apartment, reflect, and blog. This place has a nice ambiance in the morning, with sun streaming through our blinds onto the hardwood floors. Makes me think of my childhood – we’ve always lived in houses with wood floors it seems and I like it. Except that these wood floors are extra special because they’re all mine! My first wood floors, lol, Mama you better document this!
Warning: The rest of this post will be a bit more personal in nature and a sort of cathartic experience for me I have a feeling. Feel free to wait until the afternoon for a more fun post, and photos of a clean, decked out apartment. For those who choose to keep reading – the concept of this post is a culmination of recent personal reflection, past events, a conversation with a dear prof I had at EIU, musings with my friend Kt, and a realization I had during the drive to the hotel on our wedding night.
Please: play this song while reading this post, put it on repeat too, it’s best that way.
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Today
During “Fill In the Blank Friday” I couldn’t come up with the best answer for the weakness/strength question but I figured it out this weekend. Lets call it my “cart before the horse” temperament. Temperament being temperament – ‘temp(ə)rəmənt |noun1 a person’s or animal’s nature, esp. as it affects their behavior : she had an artistic temperament. I have this habit of where I seem to always have my head in the future. I’m always thinking of the next day, the next week, the next year, the weekend, the next paycheck, the next semester, the next summer.
I was reading a blog post here written by Miss Ladyfingers in which she discusses this same idea. As I was reading her post, I laughed and shook my head as she details exactly what I am like. Here is an excerpt from her post that truly does explain the crazy thought process in my head:
“I have this issue where I always have my head in the future. There’s a saying I love: if you have one foot in the yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’re bound to be pissing in today (sorry for the unladylike language). And that’s always what I end up doing: pissing on today because I’m so busy turning the past over in my head and making plans for the future that’s not even here yet. With me so far?
It happened when Mr. Ladyfingers and I were dating and living separately. All I could think about was living together, to the point that I had to nearly restrain myself from bringing up the idea before it was necessary. It happened when we moved in together before we got engaged. All I could think about was being engaged, planning a wedding, all that jazz. And now it’s happening while we’re engaged and before we’re married. It’s not just that I have my head in the wedding and OMG when will it get here 30-something days feels like FUREVAHHH.
It’s, “After we wedding we should start putting aside the same amount of money we are currently for the wedding for a down payment on a house, the houses in our neighborhood are $100,000 so if we stay on track we should have 15% of that by the spring of 2013 which is perfect because if we renew our rental once more, our lease will again expire in May 2013, and then once we buy our perfect house we can start trying to have babies, and during the pregnancy we can save up for my unpaid maternity leave, but wait is 33 too old to start trying and maybe we should start trying now, nobody’s ever really READY for a baby right?”
If that made you dizzy and uncomfy, then welcome to the club.”
Miss.Ladyfingers nailed it.
While we were at college all I could think of was being together, when we were dating you guessed it – thinking about getting engaged, when graduating, thinking about moving/grad school and living together, then of course thinking about marriage, and after marriage (in crazybrains, even before marriage) thinking about where to live, what kind of job to try for, a future plan, babies, who will stay home with them, how will we pay for that, etc. etc. etc. It could honestly drive you crazy. A little future is okay, but letting that dictate how you live (or don’t live) your life today – is nuts…and scary…and kinda depressing.
Miss.Ladyfingers started her post off with a really good quote:
“if you have one foot in the yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’re bound to be pissing in today”
and to borrow her next line:
“And that’s always what I end up doing: pissing on today because I’m so busy turning the past over in my head and making plans for the future that’s not even here yet.”
And it wasn’t until my life was put on a pause of sorts these last few weeks that I realized how much that bad habit drives me. This “future-itis” is out of control and by continuing to indulge it, I’m bound to lose out. Living in such a way is very tiring and it isn’t until you can step out of it that you really see how much it affects you. Mine is all consuming. So it is time for a change. And what better time than now?
As I was telling my EIU prof. when I left graduate school behind, I felt relieved and excited the second I “got out”. I finally had time, and was thoroughly enjoying the time off to “just be” for a little bit. I am at a time in my life, an in between place, where much in possible. My options are wide open. In the paraphrased words of another EIU prof, Dr.Best, “Today is a day of possibility”. And it is so true. I could do anything I wanted today. Aside from dishes, nothing else needs to be done, no one has to go anywhere, no one is counting on my do anything. And after living my life (forever!) looking ahead to what is next, what are we doing tomorrow, next weekend, next month, next summer, next semester, etc. etc. Right now is a blank slate.
And although I will need to start my job search soon (after the honeymoon), the deadline for that is soon. Soon is not today.
Today is today. And I need to live in it – this present – this now. Really soak it all in.
Due to my preplanning, and of course all the help and support from everyone, our wedding day was the first day, in a long time, that I was able to “Just be”, to really relax and an enjoy the moment. All the panicking, all the drama over little things, all the planning and worrying, did not make a dent in that day. As I drove to the hotel that night, after the last dance had ended and cups half full and wilted but happy flowers were picked up, I realized, not only that that today had been really great, but that it was also just a day, like any other. No matter how much importance you place on a day or an event, it is still time sensitive. It is still a day. Only 24 hours. And then it’s over. Replaced by the next day. You have no control. Minutes slip by no matter what. What you can take hold of, however, are the moments, so that they don’t slip by as well.
So, my vow to myself (and to those around me) is to really try my hardest to live in the moment, to be present for today. Being too wrapped up in the future is time consuming, exhausting, and stressful – ugh, no so not fun. My second weakness, rationalizing, has allowed me to live in this future headspace for too long, under the guise of practicality, responsibility, and preparedness. All of which are really good things, but when placed as high on a pedestal as I had them, they can be debilitating.
Miss. Ladyfingers sums up, yet again, my thoughts on this:
“I so yearn to keep my mind in the present, to focus on the task at hand, to enjoy what’s here before it’s gone. I’ve had all manner of advice in the past, and I try to apply it, but my mind just keeps traveling ahead of me, painting pictures of my family and our babies and our home and our next careers and our trips and everything.
The fact of the matter is, not once in my life, not ONCE, have things worked out the way I thought they would, or even wanted them to. They’ve always always ALWAYS worked out better than I could ever imagine. If my life unfolded exactly to my plan, I would be short changing myself. I’ve made a vow to myself that there will be no more baby talk, no more “house browsing” online, and only a minimum of collecting nursery decoration and kids’ birthday party ideas on Pinterest — at least until after the wedding. We’ll see how well I can stick to that, but my intentions are pure, I’m telling you.”
Today. Today. Today. Today. is My Day.
Never will I fully escape such future-itis but I know if I try that I can live with in a healthy way.
Future-itis has a place and time – but it is not here, not right now, not today, and definitely not everyday. This much I know.
I vow to practice being in the moment this week in preparation for Hawaii. It is our honeymoon, my first airplane ride, and Mr.C’s first trip to somewhere he’s been dying to go! I want to be present in every moment, soak it in, and come back knowing that I spent every second well.
In college I learned to rein in my “people-pleaser-ness” & that learning to say no to some things is okay. Today I learned to rein in my “obsessive-worrying” and “future-itis” & that learning to say yes to most things, even before checking them out from every angle, is more than okay.
It’s okay to….
Try something new.
Do something out of character.
Sit and just listen, really listen, to a favorite song, while not doing laundry, dishes, cleaning, online browsing or any other multi-tasking you might fall victim to usually. (Besides the one at the beginning of this post, I also recommend this song and this song)
Let the dishes sit one more day in exchange for 2 hours holding hands in a dark movie theater.
Press the snooze button and accept the opportunity to be the big spoon when a certain special someone asks.
Let the dishes sit yet again (we apparently have a lot of dishes!) to Skype with old, dear friends on a whim.
Run off for the afternoon just because. I call it “finding trouble”…and it rocks.
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Being, just being, is an activity in itself. Enjoying the small things is another.
Both will find a place in my life. Today.
Thank you for reading.