I just realized my main occupation in life has been that of “waiter.” No, not a restaurant server, a waiter on life.
I wait in line at the supermarket’; wait at Starkville’s notorious ill-timed traffic lights; or wait for someone to arrive. Worse still, I wait for the next vacation; wait to make more money; or wait to lose those 10 pounds before I can really start living.
What I’ve been waiting on is the future, and this bad habit has been spoiling my present in a big way.
I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and it’s opened my eyes in wonderful ways. He points out that with every kind of waiting comes a basic dissatisfaction with the here and now.
There is nothing wrong with striving to improve our life’s situations. The mistake lies in using it as a substitute for savoring life as it is in the current moment. Stress results by being “here,” but wanting to be “there.”
Boy am I guilty of doing that.
Is there something we “should” be doing but are not doing? Get up and do it now, advises Tolle. Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time.
Otherwise completely accept your inactivity or laziness if that is your choice. Go into it fully. Enjoy it. You’ll eventually begin “doing” again. His best advice is to see if we can give much more attention to the “doing” than the result we want to achieve.
“Are you carrying in your mind the insane burden of a 100 things you will or may have to do in the future instead of focusing your attention on the one thing you can do now?”
Hmmm. Things to ponder. As I write this I have only 40 hours left in 2009. Perhaps I can salvage a difficult year after all, if I try to live those waning hours, one moment at a time.