I love the saying that if you are sad you are living in the past and if you are anxious you are living in the future. Also, “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity.” What can I say I am fan of Buddhism and Will Smith.
Right before I retired from the Military I was going through a very trying time in my life. I was unexpectedly (well maybe not totally unexpectedly) told that by my wife that she wanted a divorce. I assume it’s a good writing technique not to say “from me” here. With my marriage was going my plan for… well… life. Where I was going to live, what I was going to do, where I was going to work, etc. Suddenly, I was faced with this huge blow and simultaneously I had to plan, well again my whole life. Although I am professional procrastinator even I was crippled with the small amount of time I had to rethink everything. While being excessively distracted by the crushing emotional blow.
I have no idea what was different about this morning but one morning I while getting ready for work I was suddenly and completely crippled by my situation. I literally could not move, I could not finished getting ready for work, I could not even bring myself to cry. I manage to collapse in a lump on the side of the bed with one boot on.
I have no idea how long I sat there. I know somewhere in my mind I was processing everything. I could hear thoughts, ideas, like you are not going to have a job, you are not going to have money, you are not going to have a place to live…
And then it happened. I am not sure if it was my voice or a voice from somewhere else but suddenly I heard the words, “not today”. Just like that I realized that yes one day I may be out of work, have no money, no place to live but that day was not today. That day I had money in the bank, I had a job to go to, I had a place to live.
I could move again. I was lighter. I was still very heavy with worry but lighter. I still had a lot to figure out but I did not have to figure it all out that day. The first answer to questions like are you going to be out of money, out of a job, out of a house was well, “not today”.
I had all these to dos on this whiteboard. In hindsight, maybe it was the sight of all those to dos that started the chaotic spiraling into despair that morning. But anyway, I got up off the bed and erased all those to dos and wrote the words “Not Today” in big black letters. It is a bit cliché but those words on that board got me through a lot of rough times. Those words stayed on that board for years. I kept it in a place I could see every morning when I woke up. After sometime it began to realize that all that worry was for a day that to present and not come to be. I imagine it is something like death, sure we will all die someday but that day is likely not today. And if god forbid it is would not you want live life to fullest.
I can tell you from experience that sitting on the edge of you bed with one boot on is not living life to the fullest.