Being able to do nothing is something you need to learn to do. Everyone always feels like they should be doing something, with lists to guide them. Even fun, relaxing things like knitting or playing guitar end up on the list, and then they are no longer leisure because they are on the list! My response to this is “if it’s not on the list, how will I remember to do it?!” What if I just learned to not be doing something off a list, but instead just existed, and did things as they came to me?
Are we constantly volleying between and enjoying memories of the past and anticipations of the future? Do we need to learn to enjoy right now and be 100% in the moment? Have I (you) ever been fully present at any moment in your life?
One example of how I see this play out in my life is by taking pictures. I love to take pictures of the outdoors and mountains, and especially the sunrise. However, I couldn’t imagine going to watch the sunrise without taking a camera. I find that I spend most of my time taking pictures of the sunrise and the beauty around me rather than actually seeing it – saving it for seeing in the future as a way to remember the past, but not ever actually seeing and enjoying it in the present moment.
I don’t think I know how to live in the moment, but have felt like I have gotten closer to being able to do it in the recent months with quitting my job and feeling like I just know this is what I am supposed to be doing. On my recent road trip, on a long-haul day full of endless views of corn, I had a moment in which I knew and felt like this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I can’t explain it, but it was an overwhelming feeling that I made some good decisions and of complete contentment. That felt good.
Now, I just need to get rid of all of my lists…