Just recently, I have heard many different iterations of “Life is what happens when you are planning other stuff.”
I’m probably just sensitive to it at the moment because my life currently feels like I’m swimming backwards through treacle. I suppose in a way; it’s like that other expression “Life passes you by.” Or maybe “Shit Happens.”
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Life isn’t the vacations, getting an education, or the big party is it? It’s making yourself get out of bed in the morning. And doing all the things that make vacations, education, and parties possible. It’s a bit like existing or waiting in some ways.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t plan. I for one would never get anything done it I didn’t plan for it. But let’s not confuse your two-week vacation with the other 50 weeks of the year. We all have to learn to live a life we won’t regret.
Perhaps we need to pay attention to what we are doing when we are doing it.
As a child, it was my job to wash the dishes – I enjoyed the responsibility of not breaking them as I went. I would stand on a chair (so I could reach the sink) and swish the water around. The sink became the sea, and there were pirates and storms with the related sound effects much to my brother’s annoyance (it was his job to dry). Many times he called our mother to get me to finish so he could get onto other things.
The thing is, I was so fully involved in those moments that even four decades later I can remember washing the dishes in intimate detail. The feel of the chair under my feet, the smell of the dish liquid, and the texture of the scourer. But I couldn’t tell you anything about last night’s dish washing.
So, instead of focusing on the next thing, try concentrating on what you are doing now. Really experience the sight, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Give yourself something to remember later.