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[personal profile] howeverbrief
I've had this idea percolating in my head for quite a while, probably because I spend a lot of my break time at work asking myself the same questions, almost like a mantra even though I already know the answers before I ask them: What day is it? What time is it?

Over and over. Sometimes answering, sometimes groaning. Occasionally I'll add another: When can I go home? This question is easier to answer in even years because I know when I'm going home. Five hours. Three hours. One hour, fifteen minutes. Odd years, I only have one answer: I don't know.

I've been adding a level of difficulty to these questions lately, probably because there are only so many times you can ask the same questions of yourself without getting entirely bored of it. I start to wonder why do I ask these questions of myself when I already know the answers. Why bother with a mantra that merely passes the time?

I'm not sure of the answer. It makes me think back to a class I took years ago where the instructor told us the importance of staying in the moment. Ego, she said, is how we fall. We learn to balance by tuning into what's happening and adjusting to it rather than expecting things to happen the way we think they should. I am still not good at this, and every time I try to balance, I tend to fall, thinking I should be able to even though I don't focus or practice or even take the time to tune back into lessons I thought I'd learned long ago.

I am not good at remaining in the moment. I never have been. Most of the time, even though I'm more aware of this than I ever have been, when I make a conscious effort to take in the colors of the leaves around me, the temperature of the air, the smells from local restaurants and the uneven plodding of my feet in front of me, my mind tends to wander to other things. I explain my political positions to myself. I finish conversations I've never had. I respond to situations that haven't happened yet. I try to prepare for the next moment, month, year, tragedy, success, hardship... The thing is I know I can't predict any of this, yet I can't stop doing this. I have the world in front of my eyes, and my mind drifts off into deep waters, brought back only when it's time to open the doors and work again.

I've been thinking life moves incrementally. So often now, I feel myself pushing through uncomfortable moments I don't want to deal with by trying to step back and think of the bigger picture and/or positive experience I'm looking forward to next. At one point this year, after we had come back from our big trip and did not have anything else planned, I felt really depressed. Before me looms session, with all of its time-sucking, stress-inducing bullshit, and while I've been through it before, it's hard to know what will happen because every session is its own animal. I am not looking forward to the sometimes 90-hour weeks or the late nights I'll spend away from Mike because of deadlines or the constant task switching that's part and parcel of my job. I am not looking forward to seeing what kind of breaking point we'll reach with one member of my staff in particular who's a constant source of drama. I am not looking forward to the next six months.

I am not looking forward to a lot of nonsense I make worse for myself by worrying about what might happen versus just letting it happen and figuring out how to adjust rather than thinking I know.

But back to where I started. Life appears to move incrementally. No matter how we feel about it, it is indifferent. If I welcome what's coming, if I desperately want to avoid something, if I am bored of it all, it moves regardless, and I move with it. I can't help this. Good, bad, indifferent.

Like I said, I have not worked this out entirely, but it is something rattling around up there. Alongside these thoughts, I've been thinking there are only a few ways to get along in this constant incremental movement, a few ways to come out on the other side even if we are moving toward something regardless.

1. Do your best.
2. Admit your mistakes.

Simple enough to say, harder still to put into practice. Doing your best being an ideal concept to strive toward and admitting your mistakes being the near opposite action of realizing your less than ideal self will screw up even when you have the best of intentions.

I am tired at this point and unmotivated to finish this train of thought, but I wanted to share anyway. It has been too long. I will try again soon.
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