Feel The Good

Now’s The Time. Feel The Good.

My mom says time is different when you’re old. That you think about it differently. And at 85, she probably knows what she’s talking about.

Maybe so, but I also believes our day-to-day perception of time isn’t much different, regardless of age. At whatever age, I think there’s both an over-valuation and under-valuation of our clock time.

From freaking out about not getting somewhere on time, to complete denial that we need to get there at all, we stir up the short term.

And then, regarding the long term, we go anywhere from tossing and turning through the-sky-is-going-to-fall sleepless nights thinking about our finite future, or we completely ignore that our years are actually numbered and waste deniably-worthy amounts of time sucked up in the vortex of social media or the like. Just one more scroll through the neighborhood….

And it’s killing us.

Well maybe that’s too dramatic.

One way or the other, it’s making us miserable.

We humans. Making life difficult 24/7/365.

Time. Over valued. Under valued.

Either way, it feels icky, when we finally come-to.

Awareness of time.

Awareness of time.

This video popped up in my facebook feed this morning, and completely derailed my day. It simply reminds us that since the majority of our life, (from about 20 to 60 years old), is spent working, we might as well do something we love.

So now, here I am, not cleaning house or doing laundry and all the other chores I set out to do on this blissful Saturday morning.

Completely ignoring my short term clock, I’m dashing off this blog post, experiencing a combination of joy in where my cup of brew is taking me, and at the same time feeling the stress that I should be doing something else.

I’ve always vacillated between complete unconsciousness of the long term, and complete clarity and terror that my time earth is ridiculously short.

I’ve never really struck a good balance.

I remember, at 22, fresh out of college and about to walk down the aisle to my husband of now thirty years (!), feeling like I didn’t have much time to do The Great that I set out to do. I thought I balanced my long-term and short-term with such ease, and maybe I did for awhile, but unfortunately I went on saying YES to everything.

I’m sure you know how this story plays out . . . .

Predictably, life piled on . . . kids, properties, businesses and way too much non-specific chaos. My long-term consciousness took a back seat to my short-term clock.

This morning as my husband and I sat on the front porch rocking our cups of brew, going over our never-ending to do’s, I pondered the “If I only knew then what I know now,” question. (Another post. Another time. )

So, when I saw this video, I was ripe for derailment. I got the thump on the head that reminds me yet again that all I really need to do is The Now. The Now that lands smack dab in the middle of my over / under valuation of my time. Between complete denial and paralyzing fear, both of which only serve to create mountains of uninspiring moments, at best.

I could wrap my head around this timeline visual. It’s simple. Clear. And bold. Just the Snap-Out-Of-It I needed today, should’ve had yesterday and will need tomorrow.

What it does is show me, at a glance, what time it is on my life clock.

So just for today, I told my husband, let’s do this. Let’s just do today. Now.

We can’t solve all our problems in one day. Or as he often says, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. Or something like that….

But true to our human form, we usually don’t take our own best advice. Alas his stress bouncing off my stress which is all tied up in our mucking up the precious moments on our life clock.

Today is all we have. We’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again. We need to make the best of it.

Cue vomit.

That’s exactly what his cynical look told me when I said that to him.

Right now, my rat-phobic husband is crawling under a century-old house, running electrical, fixing duct work, and dodging a whole host of creepy critters. Including you know whats . . . .

No matter who we are, we experience the bad and the ugly throughout our life.

And everyday, through all of that, we all have the stuff it takes to Feel The Good. Everyday.

The problem is, we just aren’t paying attention most of the time. Or we’re freaking out so needlessly it’s just as bad as not paying attention.

When we’re on point, and feeling invincible, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

To Feel The Good.

In fact, it’s then when we feel so good, we can’t ever imagine not feeling good ever again. So much so that the next time we’re not so much feeling The Good, we think THAT is our new state of being and that we’re broke.

Argh.

We’re a hot mess.

I know I’m not the first person to realize this.

But, for now, if you’re still reading, I think I can help.

So, the challenge of life seems to boil down to this: we want it all.

To feel good. All the time.

No problem. We can do that.

My Rx

When life’s all hitting the fan, and you’re feeling The Yuck—like from a migraine or a sleepless night. Or after you lost something big, like a job, a promotion, or a person in your life. Or from a million other or-s, both tiny and big, that make you feel less-than-good.

Feel The Good. (click to tweet)

Yes, even then, you can do it.

Even if for a fleeting moment. It’s better than nothing.

This timeline visual screams that all moments matter. They stack up on our life clock whether we like it or not.

Crap Moments

If this moment resembles crap: Accept it.

You’d be amazed at how good complete surrender in the middle of chaos feels.

A couple years ago, I came down with the worst case of shingles on earth. At least from  my back porch it seemed. I was literally in bed for three months. Many sleepless nights, and massive pain and itch that seemed never ending. Some nights I really thought I’d die. After drugs, showers and oatmeal baths failed me, the only thing I could do was surrender. By the time I gave up the fight, and rode through the pain and agony breathing deeply and slowly, I could finally drift off to sleep, if only for an hour or so.

Those moments of surrender where infinitesimally better than when I fought it.

Uninspiring Moments

If this moment is altogether uninspiring: Find The Joy in it.

Even if it’s mind-numbingly monotonous, like working the game room at Chuck-E-Cheese (one of my first jobs as a teenager, omg, I thought I die from boredom). Shift your thinking and use what you’ve got.

During summers when I was in college, I worked at our family’s Dairy Queen. To get through the long shifts where I anxiously felt I didn’t belong, I made a game with myself to inspire every person I waited on to smile back at me. It not only worked every time, but it made my shifts so much more enJOYable. That skill alone has taken me through lots of troubles over the last three decades.

Blissful Moments

And lastly, when a wave of enthusiasm pops up in your life, as it always will, embrace it with all your might. Clean that closet. (Write that blog post.) Call your mom. Enthusiasm is fleeting and doesn’t last forever, but it’s the most powerful thing, even if it’s only powered by your morning java. Those are your green light moments to conquer. When the feeling wanes, as it always does, fear not and know you’re not broke. It will come back again. I promise.

Now’s the time. Feel The Good. (click to tweet)


PS. This year has been one of my more challenging years. My Rx for this post was inspired by a lot of reading and study of The Now, and specifically, Eckhart Tolle’s books. I’ve had both of these books since around 2008, when I read them, loved them, but didn’t fully digest them. And then forgot them. Then, last winter, something propelled me to my book shelf to root out these books again. This time I bought the audio versions and consumed them thoroughly and multiple times each, all while doing chores around the house. Perfect solution!

I’d recommend these books to everyone on earth that has an ego. So that would be every human. These are books that can be easy to hate as they dismantle everything you ever thought you were. The key is to get to the other side, and once you do, bam. It’s like getting glasses for the first time. Everything is clear.

       

About The Author

Maria Slaby

I'm a lot of labels, not the least of which is a mom / wife with four awesome kids and an amazing husband. My lifelong love of making cool stuff with an eye on our humanness has also turned me into a branding and publishing specialist. I love helping others bring voice to their passions in this wild and tangled digital world. Catch up with me on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @mariaslaby.