(…To Stop Wishing Time Away)
I feel inspired to write this article because I think 2020 has shown us all that time can be a very warped concept (read: where the heck has this year gone??).
With summer coming to a close and crisp September/October weather on the way for those of us in the upper northern hemisphere, it’s just about the season to slow down and retreat inwards. The sun is setting earlier, the temperatures are fluctuating downwards, and pumpkin spice is on the menu again.
Looking back on the past year, I don’t recognize who I was last Fall or even this past January. I feel like I’ve gained so much clarity as to who I am and what I want from life, and one of those things is being more present.
It’s so easy to wish our lives away. We spend the winter wishing it was hotter, and the summer wishing it was colder. We spend Mondays wishing it was Friday. We spend mornings at work wishing it was the evening. And while we spend time wishing that things would happen faster, we actually just waste away the present while waiting for something that’s already coming to us.
To simplify, time passes regardless of how happy you are, so why not enjoy the time passing?
I don’t want to look back when I’m 70 years old and realize that the eagerness I had in my 20’s to accomplish everything and achieve every milestone really just made me miss out on things I took for granted – like lighting a candle and staying up late binge-watching a new show on Netflix, or getting so caught up in a conversation with friends that I had to skip the workout that I had planned. These are small things, little deviations from “routine” that might fall outside of my definition of productivity, but they actually add so much value to the present if I take the time to fully experience them in the moment.
2020 has forced the majority of us to slam on the brakes with our lives – and obviously that’s going to result in a range of reactions. But the amount that my life has changed in the past nine months is absolutely insane – and somehow all of this change happened despite every day feeling the same.
This is a concept of time that goes both ways – if you’re struggling, you can know that if you’re having a bad day, week, month, or even year, it doesn’t define the rest of your life. Eventually, you will reach a place where you feel like your head is above the water and it might very well feel like all of the dark times you went through are far in the past. If you’re unhappy with your current career, you can know that eventually (if you put in the intentions and effort) you’ll be able to escape the job you hate and be doing something you actually love. Just like how 2020 has sucked on a variety of levels for us, it’ll eventually be over. We’ll eventually be going back to our nights at bars, crowded concerts, and the inside of our favorite restaurants; mask-free.
But what if we spent the time between our present realities and our desired realities doing little things that made the present more enjoyable?
Your desired life situation is coming to you regardless of how the present moment is, so see if you can shift your mindset to enjoy the present just a little more. Whether that’s playing your favorite music and just ~vibing~ or putting a little extra effort and intentionality into pouring yourself a cup of coffee, find ways to make the present a teeny bit more enjoyable.
Fill the gaps in life with your presence, and suddenly you’ll find just how precious time is.