Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Living in the moment, the moment, the moment, the moment...
My life would not be normal without a little freak out from time to time ... as most of you close to me would know. These episodes have gotten much less frequent through the years, but nonetheless they still exist unfortunately. Normally, I know one is coming because suddenly a bad mood strikes me and it always seems out of the blue. Sometimes it's aggressive and sometimes it's depressive or anxious. It starts growing inside of me slowly and quietly, but I feel it big because it usually strikes when everything is fine, or right after a happy moment, so the contrast feels drastic even though "the mood" hasn't peaked yet. It grows and grows until I can't ignore it and must face it. This part sucks because initially I have no idea where it's coming from. Then comes the analysis. Always fun for me to perform on other people, but myself ...well ...not so much. Once I've pinpointed the cause, which can take minutes or days, I can then begin to devise a plan in order to rid this mood from my life and to minimize the chances of a relapse. If you read my last post, you will understand when I say I must have jinxed myself. A couple of days ago I was struck by a mood.
I should have foreseen this since right before "the mood" I had a few sleepless nights, which is odd for me since I NEVER have trouble falling asleep. Even, when I was young it was not a rare event for me to fall asleep in mid play or while eating spaghetti! So yes, some sleepless nights and then "the mood". It was an anxious type of mood but the anxiety was overpowered by this sense of restlessness. Almost like I was bored, but paniking about it. Thoughts were whirling through my head and building up. Nothing serious, just things I had to do, or wanted to do. Like I was desperately needing to make a plan, but had nothing real to plan for. That's when I realized that was exactly what it was. The need to plan ahead with nothing specific to plan for.
Ok. Let me explain a little better. For the last 8 months, Pauli and I have been planning this move to Germany ... where are we going to live? When are we going to leave? What are we going to do? How will I learn German? How will we provide for ourselves? How would we like to furnish our apartment? Which schools should we choose? What colour would we like our carpets? And the list goes on.... Needless to say, we've had so much to think about and plan for and look forward to. But guess what? Now we are here. Now we are settled to the point of comfortable functioning. Nothing more significant or pressing to get done. Now we can live and move forward at a comfortable pace. Well, I was not ready for this moment I guess. It's like I got into the habit of planning things and looking forward and now I had to just stop and live!? What?! I had not planned for this moment. I have been looking forward to it, believe me. That's why I was taken by such surprise when I reacted so badly to it.
So now I know where this mood is coming from, but how do I stop it? How do I live in the moment? I've alaways had a tendency to live in the future. But I guess looking back, it was never a bad thing since this kept me achieving my goals and accomplishing things. I think this goal of moving to Germany was the biggest most important thing I've ever had to attain. It took some monumentous amounts of strength and concentration, but I didn't realize how immersed I became until now. I'd lost sight of the present completely. This is not a way to live. I deserve to enjoy my accomplishment and now is the time to do it.
So what does one do nowadays when faced with such dilemmas...? Google, of course! I Googled "how to live in the moment" at 3 o'clock in the morning when I had to be up at 7. Out of all the things I read, here is an article I liked: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art-now-six-steps-living-in-the-moment.
I devised a strategy to help me. All I did is said to myself, "be aware of THIS moment", every so often. I did it while riding the train to work, while walking to work, while sipping my coffee, while playing with the kids, while choosing some apples at the grocery store. It really, really helps! Surprising, eh? Such a simple solution. Now all I have to do is say "the moment" to cue myself, and the feeling of being really in the moment and appreciating my life unravels. I say it especially when I find myself in my own thoughts and unaware of my surroundings.
Here are some pictures I took while enjoying the moment:
Do you have any tricks to help you live in the moment?
'till next time,