Treasure the Moment

December 22, 2010

Treasure the Moment

Treasure the Moment

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

In the midst of holiday frustrations this year, I stopped and wrote on a Post-It note “Treasure the Moment.”

Worried that I’d forget, I stuck it on the fridge.

Then I thought “which moment?” The moment I wrote the note? The moment I put it on the fridge? The moment I read it? What about 10 moments later? Before that? Which moment is the moment? How many moments are there? (As you may have noticed, the inside of my head is a noisy place.)

The answer I come to (again and again) is there’s only one moment: it’s now.

One cool thing: there are no regrets, resentments, shame, worry or fear in now. Resentments are in the past (the word “resent” comes from the Latin “re,” again, or back and “sentir,” to sense or feel — literally, to “feel again.”) I only regret things that have come and gone. Ashamed? I can’t be ashamed of what hasn’t happened yet. Worry and fear? I may be scared, but only of what I think is going to happen (unless I happen to be in the middle of a car crash, in which case fear is decidedly “in the moment”).

What’s more, I imagined the whole thing. Past and Future are constructs imagined by the brain to make sense of our experiences in a linear time-line. Most animals can’t do it — it’s largely the province of humans.

Technically speaking, at least, there is no past. There is no future. The only thing that is — is right now.

So, just for today, I can treasure it. Maybe I do something in this moment that’s good for me, even if I don’t want to do it. Maybe I choose to do something completely different, just because it’s different — for me. Maybe I notice that this moment is filled with tiny miracles, if I choose to look at it that way.

However it goes, living my day this way leaves me speechless with appreciation, gratitude, joy and fulfillment — provided I don’t let the moment — This Magic Moment, if you believe The Drifters — go by unnoticed.

Seasons Greetings, and Happy Trails!

* PS  If the art looks familiar, it’s because in an ongoing effort to be green, my holiday greeting cards are always made entirely from 100% recycled ideas.

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One WHAT at a Time?

April 14, 2010

One What at a Time

One What at a Time?

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”…

I set about this morning arranging how I plan to tackle all of my problems at once. There’s nothing like tackling a tax return to give myself the feeling that all my problems are mounded up into one huge sticky ball that’s about to run me over. I glanced up and saw a little post-it note over my desk. Someone wrote it and stuck it there, I don’t know who — but the handwriting looks suspiciously like mine. The post-it note reads:
“it’s one DAY at a Time”
It occurs to me… if that’s what “It” IS, then what is “It” NOT? For instance, I suspect that “It” is NOT…

One Overwhelming Project at a Time.
One Dysfunctional Relationship at a Time.
One Hell of a Year at a Time.
One Frustrating Diet at a Time.
One Soured Friendship at a Time.
One Time of the Month at a Time.
One Impossible Budget at a Time.
One Empty Marriage at a Time.
One Crippling Exercise Regimen at a Time.
One Impossible Boss at a Time.
One Heartbreaking Divorce at a Time.
One Long Overdue Thesis at a Time.
One Week That Will Never End at a Time.
One Delusional Business Plan at a Time.
One Torturous Job Interview at a Time.
One Unecessary Certification Test at a Time.
One Lousy Homework Assignment after Another at a Time.
One Date From Hell at a Time.
One Unbalanced Checkbook at a Time.
One Overly Long Self-Evident Self-Help Book at a Time.
One Deranged Narcissistic Client at a Time.
One Self-Involved Teenaged Child at a Time.
One Two-faced Co-worker at a Time.
One Diabolical Government Plot at a Time.One More Fine Mess I’ve Gotten Myself Into Again at a Time.
or…
One Tax Return* at a Time.

So, just for today, I’ll acknowledge the messengers, miracles, signs and spirits — and post-it notes — that come into my life every day, reminding me that: I’ll be okay. There is enough. I have enough. I am enough. I am loved, and I am worth working it, One Day at a Time.

Happy Trails!

PS. * A quote for the day: “Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.” — Benjamin Franklin

Things I Don't Want... To-Do List

Things I Don't Want... To-Do List

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”…

A friend of mine recently emailed about me…

“Below is a list of things I would like to have completed in the next few days which I have proved to myself that, left on my own, I cannot (or will not) do them.

I need help. Will you help me?”

Being far more clear-headed—and willing to share opinions—about anyone’s task management issues other than my own, I wrote back “Sure!”

And so, I got right to work on a “To Do” list pad — a list of things I don’t wanna do.

In my case, unless my “To-Do” list reads “eat entire chocolate cake,” “sit in sun & bake self silly,” “pick out new sports car,” or “catch up previous seasons of Battlestar Galactica,” chances are pretty good that for a number of the items on my list, my plan is simple:

I JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.

Growth and change can be difficult, sometimes painful. I heard a person at a twelve-step meeting say “This program is really difficult.” I thought to myself, “Abso-lutely right—but if you think this program is difficult, try no program.”

They don’t call it work because it’s easy. Who wants to forge into strange and painful territory and poke around in those hurt emotional spots, searching for truth? Who wants to give other people permission to be honest with us—sometimes painfully honest—about our character defects? Who wants to live in a state of discomfort, be challenged, and encouraged to strive constantly forward into fact-facing and fear-facing that can be scary—even heartbreaking at times? Who would want to do that?!?*

*Answer: Anybody who has ever lived in or around addiction or alcoholism—that’s who.

Does it matter if “I don’t feel like it?” Actually, no—not much. I can take note of it, like, “Oh, look—I don’t much feel like doing that. Isn’t that interesting? I’m going to do it anyway.” Perhaps, like my friend, I have to admit I can’t do it—at least not alone. Perhaps I have to face something worse than procrastination: isolation.

So, just for today, I’m can..

1. Make a “To Do” list of things (research suggests 3 to 5 maximum**) I may not feel like doing today, but want to have done.

2. Start each item with “I don’t feel like ______” and fill in the blank.

2.5. Say something like “On my own, this isn’t going to get done.”

3. Ask myself where I can find the help to get it done.

4. Go to the source, ask for the help.

4.5. Receive the help (hint: for some, this is the hardest part of all!)

5. Then, do the thing—whether I feel like it or not.

6. When its done, be grateful and celebrate!

Very important last step there! Once it’s done, I can make a very big deal out of how wonderful that is. You know, tear off my coat. Go running down Main Street like the village idiot. Scream out “I balanced my checkbook!!” or “I wrote the stinkin’ report!!” or “Even though it scared the crap out of me, I told the truth!!!” or “I told my sister to mind her own business!” or whatever. I know that people will be leaning out of their windows, showering me with flowers, chanting “Go! Go! Go! Go!” Grandparents at red lights will lean down and whisper to their grandchildren, “There goes the guy who did the right thing TODAY.” YAAY!!!

Happy trails!

** PS Productivity research indicates that the average person’s “To-Do” list contains 12 to 15 items. The same research indicates that most people accomplish on average about three (3) of those items per day.