Saturday, July 5, 2008

Greener Grass

The other day at work I was going up the steps after filling my water bottle. I was thinking ahead to my 4-day weekend. I thought, "ugh, this day can't be over soon enough. When I'm on my mini vacay, then I'll be happy". Then it occurred to me that I have this thought pretty much all the time: "When X happens, then I'll be happy".

How ridiculous is that?

There is a book called The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson. I need to re-read it. My old college roommate, Rammel (who is still hot and still totally rocks, by the way), gave me this book. It's about appreciating what is happening Right Now. There was a cartoon skit on Sesame Street back in the day about a guy who tried to do everything ahead of time - he got so far ahead that he was sleeping in his clothes for the work days ahead. Zen has even turned pop culture.

Let me first say that my life is pretty awesome.
Nevertheless, I am so bad at this.....I perpetually undermine myself with this undercurrent of restlessly looking to the next thing. Don't get me wrong, this uncanny ability to plan has brought me where I am today and perfectionism has it's place (like not killing the patient). In fact, I am completely wedded to my Franklin Covey planner and am a habitual goal-setter. After all, "failing to plan is a plan to fail." OK, goal-setting is important but c'mon! "X" isn't going to make me happy if I can't ever stop to enjoy "X". Did I mention that I didn't walk for my MS or my PhD and I was so stunned that they let me have a DVM that I hardly remember anything from that day?

The past year has been good for forcing me to be better at this. I mean, I'm in a new city with hardly even one friend - I'm so bored out of my fucking mind most of the time that I actually confuse missing my dear friends with missing Gainesville! I've painted the house, read a hundred books, organized and reorganized, ran a marathon...I ran out of projects so I spend a lot of time just being and petting my cats. Too bad they can't come to the mall to tell me that shirt looks stupid on me.

Anyways, my point is that I know being 10 pounds lighter, paying off my credit cards, or having a baby isn't the key to my happiness. Rather, learning to enjoy the journey is the key. I'm working on it. Knowing is half the battle, right? I'm open to suggestions. If anyone actually reads my blog AND has a suggestion, please share. I fear that I will reach the end of my life with a 'to-do' list and no recollection of having enjoyed anything (except my wedding, the Duran Duran concert, and swimming with the dolphins).

4 Lovies:

Andrea said...

I don't have any suggestions since I need to improve upon the same things. Thanks for the reminder to live a little more in the moment!

mandilizs said...

I'm buying that book now! I am so totally like that. Except maybe add a bunch of worrying to that too? I am now already thinking ahead to reading your next blog....

Barb said...

I wish I could say I had some insight, but I suffer from the same obsession! I did really enjoy this blog (haven't had a chance to read the others) but you are a great writer and what a great idea! How realistic and easy for readers to identify with, you really should get published in all your copious free time :) I too am interested in that book, I wish I was a faster reader!

Jennifer said...

I hear you. I sometimes wonder if I will truly be happy myself because sometimes it seems like such an unobtainable thing. I know I should take things day by day and find the small bit of happiness but that's a tall order.