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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Actively Present.

I have been ridiculously busy the past two months. Lots of travel and juggling. I am tired. It hit me this last weekend. I have been running hard and fast. Yesterday I just wanted to lie around all day but I also wanted to get the house done for the upcoming holidays so that won out over my other idea of doing literally nothing.

I get mired in the activity and forget why I am doing it. I didn’t do that yesterday. I took my time. I have noticed that my internal clock tells me two things: hurry the fuck up! And also: there is not enough time! These two things remove me from the present often. I get so hyper focused on the outcome that I act like an asshole in the process. I am also not a lot of fun to be around. I try to accomplish too much in too short of a time span and so I am stressed, judgey and bossy. Not my best self, at all.

Yesterday I decided that I had the entire day. No pressure. I could get it done in one day and if I couldn’t then no problem. I found myself only mildly irritated a couple of times which is huge for me. I noticed that I felt that way immediately and I let it go. It came back only one time and I let it go and it stayed let go. So I had a nice day and I got it all done! Pretty damn sweet!

I know that this may seem like a stupid thing to be happy about but as someone who is always trying to fit way too much shit into whatever moment I am in and then is all pissed off about it, it was a pretty huge accomplishment for me. I was not an asshole to anyone, including myself. Which was pretty cool since I pretty much did the whole deal alone as my teenage daughter did not want to help.

I always tend to think about stuff that needs to get done and that creates an immediate absence for me. I become a human doing machine and I care more about the end result than I do the process. Yesterday, I took my time, I didn’t try to cram everything into a ridiculously unobtainable timeframe. And guess what? I enjoyed it so much more!

Yesterday I spent the day actively present. I was here, doing things but I didn’t leave mentally and check out, just becoming an efficiency drone that got it all done without care or concern for how I behaved getting it all done. Unfortunately, this could not be said of me in many of the years past. I got it all done but there was a price paid by everyone...and it wasn’t a lot of fun either...for any of us.

This year, I am happy with the process and the end result. I am happy that I got to be actively present and accomplish what I needed and wanted to without being a major asshole in the process. I wish that I could be some relaxed chill person but that is likely never going to happen. But I can be a little less intense, driven and goal oriented. Really. I did it yesterday.

Active presence appears to be the way for me to accomplish this. I am here doing things but I am not mentally moving through the checklist of next, next, next. I am here doing the thing: putting the tree up, decorating the mantle, hanging ornaments. I am here doing this stuff and the payoff isn’t just at the end when it all looks great. The payoff is in every single minute I spend getting to that end. I can look at my efforts and hard work and instead of feeling guilty of how I acted to get there, I can sit on my couch in the way too early darkness and enjoy the lights from the tree, and marvel that I didn’t let the same asshole decorate this year. I let the nascent me who is a little less driven, intense and goal oriented do a fine job while getting it all done.

The end result is that I can enjoy the view and feel good about how I got there...actively present.

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