Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. – Pema Chödrön
Most days my morning begins the same. After rising, making of some coffee, letting the dog take care of some business, I do a little reading. Check the new batch of emails, and proceed to get involved in the many aspects of my photography. From business and communications that need to be addressed to the processing of new images, and the always challenging contemplation of new ideas that may help the growth and success of my ventures.
My specifics are unique to me, but I’m guessing similar routines exists for many people. Day after day, week after week, month after month. It becomes easy to understand why years seem to go by quicker and quicker as one gets older. As we all know, time is the same for all, it is us that are doing the changing, we are getting older. Time is emphatically the same. Aging is a fact of life, one we can not change, but there are many aspects of life that can be changed.
To Get The Most Out Of Time, Lose Track Of It
I recently spend 6 days deep in the wilderness of the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. The human companionship was minimal. I would see a few other folks each day, usually when driving the forest roads to a trail head. Give a cordial wave hi if within distance to be noticed. In six days and 5 nights I had conversion with one other person, and two big dogs that seemed to like my campsite. The conversation with the person lasted about 15 minutes. The conversations with the dogs lasted longer. My typical reply when asked about not having any significant interaction with other people for days is, “it is awesome”. To the point that I could begin feeling as if it was normal or should be a normal way of living.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hermit and probably would not want a complete life of solitude. I would be the first to admit, I would get lonely. But one must understand, there is a tremendous difference in being alone and being lonely.
Know That You Don’t Know
For myself, there are a great deal of inner questions that I have. There are even more things I know that I don’t know. Solitude for me acts as a looking glass to my inner self and has a way of making me face questions even when they can be daunting and painful to ask. Questions such as, why did I not understand the importance of showing others how much I loved and appreciated them for so many years in my younger days? Why did I hide my feelings or attempt to alter them with alcohol (which may have been the catalyst for many problems) for so many years? When one is in the midst of problems it is difficult to know just how bad some of your immediate decisions are. Reaction seem to take over and kindness and humility are forgotten.
It has taken years to come to grips with many things of my past. Luckily I have had help. And through some power greater than myself was able to listen to and accept advice and help. I know I am not the one to make any kind of judgment on myself, but in my thoughts I feel I am not anything like the person I was 20 years ago. As unique as our lives are to each of us, we all have similarities. After all, the human experience is shaped by humans.
Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
This brings me back to the subject of, time enough. Our lives are finite with an end somewhere in the future. Whether that is near or years away should not change what we do today. After all, today is all we really have. There is a saying or possibly a quote though I do not know who to contribute it to that says: “Don’t just do something, sit there.” This seems to sum up many aspects of my thought process. Just doing something for the sake of doing it, or because you may be anxious, nervous, angry, or emotionally hurt, in most cases is the wrong approach. And, speaking from experience, can lead to making small problems much bigger. But this is not about the elimination of problems. We all have them and will continue to have them. It is about acceptance, understanding, and the willingness to improve as a person.
So next time you are anxious and feel the need to “just do it”. Sit down, take a breath, and attempt to enjoy that very moment. It may be much better than “doing it”.
Every Morning You Are Born Again. What We Do Today Is What Matters Most -Buddha.