How can you enjoy life if you always want something else? My ADD brain went there on a drive this past weekend. We were in the car, it was a gorgeous day and we were heading toward the store. The entire time, I kept going over the things we needed at the store. It hit me, I’m not even in my body in this moment. The weather is perfect, it’s a gorgeous Saturday, and I’m not even enjoying the moment. I have a shopping list, with me, why am I obsessing over it and then why am I thinking about work on top of it?! I had a brief epiphany—I have never been fully present in my entire life. I nearly always want to be somewhere other than where I’m at. Even if I don’t really feel that way (like if I’m doing work I actually enjoy doing) my brain starts kicking in with all of the other things I need to be doing. Being pulled in that many directions is unsettling and takes away from the joy of where we are.
I want to be able to enjoy my life and that means being present. If I have a moment of inspiration and need to write, then I need to be able to do that. If I want to hang out with my kid or go for a bike ride with him, I need to be able to do that. I don’t want to be at the constraints of someone else, or someone else’s goals. We have a finite about of time here and I think that is why I allow myself to get so distracted. I’m trying to fit two lives into one. I need one to support and sustain us but I need one to keep me thriving mentally and to fulfill my purpose. That is where the disconnect happens. I never get to do exactly what I want and I always feel guilty and obligated to be doing something else.
When you dedicate a third of your day to someone else’s dreams, that limits the time you have to work on your own so there is a sense of urgency and pressure to find time to do what you want to do. The best advice that I struggle to take is slowing down. There isn’t anything we can do about the time we have in a day, but we can be intentional about how we use it. Setting specific time and creating blocks to achieve work allows us to take action toward a goal. In order to do that we have to slow down and really look at what we are trying to accomplish. We have to get in touch with who we are and listen to what we need to do, what we are called to do.
We see the details and the truth of who we are when we listen to that voice. We learn to enjoy through presence and attentiveness and fulfilling what we are meant to. We enjoy by embracing fully who we are and living unapologetically. We enjoy life when we are fulfilling our purpose and not someone else’s. If we are always between where we are and what we want to be doing, we miss a lot of life. We don’t see what is in front of us because we are fantasizing about something else. But when we start feeling the mind wander and feel those pulls to be doing something else, we can take that as a sign to decide and to re-focus on what we DO want. We can’t live two lives, we aren’t designed that way. The brain isn’t built like that. But we can decide to let go of what we don’t want and pick up who we are. That is how you enjoy life: take what you need, fulfill your purpose, stay true to yourself, and let the rest go. Live.