When we first found out we were moving to rural Tennessee, I had to mentally prepare myself. I’ve lived in cities – or the outskirts of major cities – my entire life. So I never imagined myself becoming a “small town girl.” Although I would hardly call this place a “town.” It’s got a few restaurants – mostly fast-food joints. And it’s got a lot of land – beautiful countryside land that’s mostly littered with garbage and old furniture and junkyard cars.
Still, I knew that Ankur’s experience at this school was worth the 2-4 years in this little ghost town.
And that’s exactly what I kept telling myself. “It’s temporary. It’s only two years. I can do anything for two years.”
And when I started working at the county schools here, it became my mantra. “This is not my career. I’ll get BACK to my career in two years when we move somewhere else.”
And then when November came, I would tell myself, “Only one more month and then it’s winter break.”
And then after winter break was over, I took comfort in knowing we were only here for 1.5 more years.
It’s been a countdown since he got accepted into school.
“Everyone has to make occasional sacrifices in the present moment in order to have a more successful future.” It’s what I’ve always been taught. It actually makes sense – to some extent.
Hustle now, reap the rewards later.
However, over the past year, I’ve been living my life as if our time here is just an obstacle that I need to overcome. My “right of passage” to get somewhere better.
Many people live their lives like this. Where THIS moment is not good enough because they need to get to the next one.
Eating breakfast while thinking about what you’re going to make for lunch.
Being unable to enjoy Saturday’s events because you’re already worried about Sunday creeping up on you.
Texting friends to make plans for later in the evening WHILE you’re “enjoying the company” of friends during brunch.
I’m guilty of it all.
And it’s continuous stress.
So I think it’s time to put an end to it.
Happiness is in the PRESENT.
It’s time to stop the countdowns and find happiness in the now. Because I DON’T know where we are going to end up two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now. Who knows where our journey will take us? All that I can control is the present.
And to count down the days and the minutes to something “better” is not only not practical, but it would rob today of its joy and its beauty. Even if it IS in a ghost town.
Questions of the Day:
- Are you guilty of counting down to “something better?”
- How do you work toward staying mindful and in the present moment?