Thursday, February 05, 2009

Adjusting to the changes

Things have been hectic here - which is kinda great, and kinda not. Great in that my day to day has switched up quite a bit, not great in that my day to day has switched up quite a bit.

2009 - the year of change. That it is. And I'm a big believer in the good of change, no lover of routine here. But change isn't always easy and while I'm loving the changes that are going on in my life I'm missing (just a little) the way it was. My free time has gotten a bit less free and that means less time to loll around reading, making things, trying new recipes, and blogging. But on the up side it means lots and lots of walking around the city and the park with sweet, sweet doggies. I know I might be a little too in love with the canines, but honestly they are such great models for living. Every day is new, every moment is lived RIGHT NOW and worries about the future are pretty much nonexistent. Dogs know we don't have anything except this moment and they seem pretty happy with that. Seems to me that's a pretty good philosophy of life.

Of course being humans we have a few more responsibilities (taking care of said live-for-today pups being one of 'em for me) and so thinking ahead just comes with the territory. Remembering to relish being alive right this minute seems to be a a good way to keep worry about those responsibilities (and goals) from becoming overwhelming.

When I'm out with a dog I sometimes start thinking 'the shoulds'. I should be writing. I should be doing laundry. I should be finishing that book I was reading. I should be.... Then I look down see that happy dog-smile on the creature walking next to me and I remember - what I SHOULD BE is right now. Our lives whip by at lightening speed and we worry so much about the coming moments that we lose the current moments to a future that never happens - because all we are is right now.

When we're in pain, or feel alone in the world, it's hard to focus on the now. Our minds take us to imaginary scenarios of bleak futures where nothing gets better, nothing changes. Our minds are powerful places - they can keep us locked in a cycle of remembered hurts that keep us from experiencing the little delights of life, the tiny things we take for granted, the things that make life so amazing. We want faster, faster, more, more and when it doesn't come we become frustrated and continue the cycle of stressing and worrying about what we don't have and letting the moments and joys we do have slip by us without noticing them.

I'm not saying to live for today and the future be damned in some sort of hedonistic, irresponsible way. We can live and be happy in the moment while still being responsible and caring towards the earth and the creatures (us included) living on it. But worries and negative thinking about all the things we're not doing, not achieving, not having can keep us from seeing how very much we DO have, and how very, very lucky we are to be alive.

I guess what I'm saying is: make sure your shoes are comfy, that you have poop bags and treats in your pockets, hold the leash securely as you move forward and most of all, be here now.


Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I have all the things on that final check list, so my year should go well.

whimsical brainpan said...

Awesome post Joy!

Hunter said...

I agree completely (especially as someone who has recovered from in my case deep, deep depression) that the best way to live is to seize the day! Good luck in 2009 and keep up the positive change in your life!

Gary said...

My theory is always to enjoy the process and not live for the product (which can be enjoyed when it comes as well but not to the exclusion of the process).

The 'shoulds' always seem to get taken care of in their time anyway. Why bother worrying about them?

Bella said...

Love this! I'm such a planner (always looking ahead, setting goals, etc.) that sometimes I worry that I'm missing too much of "now." This is a good reminder that we have to live in the moment as much as we can.

Fraulein N said...

Excellent advice.

Salty Miss Jill said...

You are so wise. :)
And 'shoulding all over oneself' accomplishes nothing, for sure. Another wise person (my shrink) tols me to replce the word 'Should' with the phrase 'I don't want to, and see what perspective that throws on the situation!