As I’m writing this I’m sitting at my little desk in my room, my cats dozing away on the bed behind me, and I’m watching the twenty or so birds having fun in my garden searching for some bugs to munch on.
Life is good.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who stresses….a lot. I tend to hoard anxiety and responsibility like most people hoard clothes. I tend to find myself stressing out about money, and my family, and other people’s problems…when the fact of the matter is that I don’t need to waste my time on it.
Worrying and stressing doesn’t make me happy, and it sure as hell doesn’t help my disposition around others. My family has absolutely no problem calling me out when I’m extra crabby, and lately I’ve realized a few things….
First, a lot of my stress comes from trying to control everything. (I’ve been called a perfectionist and control-freak on multiple occasions) I have this need for my environment to be peaceful and relaxing, with most of the things crossed off my to do list in order for me to feel at peace.
Second, I worry about the future. Everything from finances to the health and well being of the people I care about. It is draining, to say the least.
Third, and most important… I am in control of both of the above. I choose to try and control my surroundings, I choose to worry about the future, I choose to always think about tomorrow instead of living for today.
I plan to change that.
I’m working towards living exclusively in the present moment. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and yesterday is already over. The only thing I can control is what I do right now. And right now I want to be happy and take advantage of the great moments I have with family, friends, pets, and even the ones I have all by myself.
In order to do this, I have to do a few things….
First, I need to let go. Let go of other people’s responsibilities, and only deal with my own. Let go of the unnecessary weight of other’s decisions. Let go of my insatiable need for perfection.
Second, I need to stop worrying about tomorrow, or ten years from now. I need to realize when I’m worrying, and stop my own train of thought before it runs right off the tracks.
There are a few things that I’ve found to help me live in the present…
- Minimalism has helped me cut down on unnecessary things, which used to lead to unnecessary worries about those things.
- Taking time every day to water my garden by hand has given me a good ten minutes a day immersed in nature. I even take the time to touch each plant and make sure they’re doing well. (I would sing to the plants if my voice didn’t sound like a dying cat lol) this specific time each day helps me settle my mind and reconnect with everything around me. I tend to go outside barefoot when I do this, just to feel the grass under my feet as well.
- Letting go of my worry for other people. It’s taken a lot of self-determination on my part, but I’m trying to stop micromanaging things and people. I’m busy myself with my own responsibilities and leave them to theirs. Sure, I still give out the occasional reminder when it’s helpful and needed, but I’m no longer busying my mind wondering if someone took out the trash on trash day.
- My pets are wonderful little buggers. Where before I used to pay attention to them when I wanted to, I now deliberately take the time to give them love and attention when they need it. For example, this morning instead of getting out of bed right away I spent a good five or six minutes rubbing both my cats since they decided to come and sit right next to my face while purring. When they were done, they went back to the end of the bed to sleep.
Even with all of this there are still times when I get stressed and I find those are the times I NEED to force myself to take a break and either read a bit, or do some exercising, something to reconnect my mind with my body and spirit.
Living in the present is hard when there are jobs and chores to be done, bills to pay, kids to take care of, a house and yard to keep….but we need to MAKE time to just be. Take a breath of fresh air and watch the squirrels chase each other through the yard. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of a sleeping child, or play fetch with your dog.
Its the little things that add up, and sooner or later your mind will catch up and put two and two together, living in the present will make us the happiest. Why? Because it’s here, right now! Not off in tomorrowland or years down the road, it’s now.
So, stop thinking “I’ll take the time and be happy when ____ happens.” instead try something like this “Wow, I’m living in the moment and ____ is something I don’t want to miss out on.”
As always, I hope you liked my topic for the day, if you have any comments or stories to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!