The Next Thing or the Now Thing
I’m ambitious. Wait. No, that’s an understatement.
I won’t bore you with my accomplishments. Let’s just say, I’ve done a lot of stuff. From physical feats to educational goals, most of my adult life has been in constant pursuit of the next thing. As soon as I am finished with one challenge, I’m on to another… and another… and another.
I’m tired, y’all.
Yeah, it really just dawned on me lately that I am exhausted in the core of my very being. I can tell because my mental health, which is always in maintenance mode, is suffering.
See, I never took a break. I went from job to job to grad school to marathon running to job to job to grad school again to baby #1, then #2, to graduation to looking for another job and on and on and on (worst sentence ever, right? Try living it). Always on the move. I never stop. I am like the Terminator.
The problem is that the Terminator is a machine. I am not. I am flesh and bone (and probably 12% gummy bears by now). I need rest. No one can stay on their hustle indefinitely. The human spirit has a breaking point, and I am dangerously close to mine.
Challenges cease to inspire me. Instead, they drive me to despair and discontentment. What for some would be a momentary setback leaves me depressed for days.
You gotta know when to say when. I’m saying “when.” I have to get off the hustle, but the lingering question is how? This is how I live my life. I don’t know what it is to not constantly be wanting.
All that said, I see an idea forming. I am far from a concrete answer to this, but I feel like I have a start.
It’s all about the now thing.
Where I am right now. This day. This moment. The task at hand. Everything that is tangibly here. My life as it’s playing out before my eyes deserves my focus. There is plenty of hustle, joy, and living to be had in the day to day, and there’s not good reason to miss any of it. Side note: if we really want to get heady and existential about it all, the now thing is the only reality you truly have. Nothing beyond this very second has significance.
Kinda makes you want to pay attention.
The next thing will always be there. Or maybe it won’t. If you focus on the now thing, perhaps the next won’t matter as much. I hope so. Either way, I don’t want to trample on what’s here today to rush towards what’s not even a sure thing tomorrow.
So here’s my long awaited break. My soul sabbatical. Truthfully, I think we all could use one.