Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Staying in the Present

 It never fails that, when I get into any type of groove where things are going well, I find myself thinking about what is going to happen down the road. It seems that when I feel like when something good happens, I can’t help but want to know what is going to happen next. I can’t ever seem to just enjoy the moment for what it is.

My guess is that it has a large part to do with my fear of the unknown. Or more accurately, my mistrust of the unknown. Whenever presented with a situation, I tend to immediately start thinking about the worst-case scenario; the thing that would happen if everything plays out in the worst way possible. By doing this, it’s my way of being prepared in the event that this occurs. The drawback of this, though, is that at times I spend the moments that I should be enjoying preoccupied with trying to figure out what’s coming next, never getting to enjoy either. There was a scene from Queer As Folk (the US version) where one of the characters, Michael Novotny, is quoting his mother, the ever-so quotable Debbie Novotny, and he says “[My mom] always says, "If you've got one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, you'll piss on today."  Actually, she says "shit" but I wanted to clean it up a little.” Looking back, I see that I actually quoted that line in a previous post back from 2008 (wow, 6 years ago!). But that doesn’t mean that it is any less true now than it was back then.

The easiest way to ruin a great moment is to think about what’s going to happen when the moment is over. Life is all about experience, right? So I need to work harder on making sure that I appreciate every experience while I am in it, so that when I look back I am looking at a lot of great, full and luscious memories. 

(Photo above: a girl on the street holding up this sign as a volunteer. Part of the Make DC Smile campaign. A really great project that was started up about a while ago in DC, and has been going for at least a year, if not two. If you need something to make you feel good right now, I would check it out: www.makedcsmile.org)

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