I just said to Trent (again), “Can you believe it’s freakin’ 2014?!?!?!”
I’m having a hard time accepting that the future is now. Not only is my 20 year high school reunion a stone’s throw away (argggggghhhhhh), causing me to actually cut back on my beer consumption (ACTUALLY), I recently realized I can’t even remember people, places, and things that have happened since I moved to California. That was supposed to still only be like, a couple years ago.
Actually, it was almost eight years ago. And in eight years from now, it will be…
I’m pretty sure Star Trek was set in 2022.
Historically, I’ve welcomed the new year as I’ve never been someone who shied away from change. I love “out with the old, in with the new.” So much so that I force poor Trent to get rid of stuff just to justify bringing his Christmas presents into the house (hey – same rule applies to me).
Lately, though, something’s been happening to me. I’ve become acutely aware of the passage of time. I still love uncluttering, but I have this growing concern that time is going by too quickly. I’ve started to worry about things – big things – a lot. Like where I’ll be ten years from now and have I planned enough for my future and what if something terrible happens to me or to Trent or to both of us or what if our house falls down in The Big One after all and blah blah blah.
I think it’s not normal. Trent is sure it’s not normal.
It’s particularly bad right now, I think because of the arrival of the new year (even though we had a hell of time celebrating it in Dallas with our friends, Nate and Lindsey; check out the pics here). I just keep thinking (or saying out loud), “2014 – F#@%!” And then I set about compulsively researching all the new things I’m worrying about that might make me unfit for an increasingly competitive workforce in ten years or stand in the way of my early retirement or might make my house’s foundation less stable. And then I make lists of things to get done to fix it all.
And then my super-chill Buddhist husband does one of two things – maybe both:
- Goes back to researching his list of prospective shrinks for me
- Sends me some mind-bending epiphanies, like these, to help me get centered again
I think #1 will work, when we finally get around to agreeing on someone for me to see. I have a hypothesis that I have time stopped in my head at age 39 – the age my father died – and now that I’m nearing it, I’ve started panicking because my life is actually not in danger of ending. So I’m obsessing about tragic ways that might happen at the last minute.
See? I’m good. Now I just need to find someone to validate my hypothesis.
But I know #2 works. If you don’t have time to read that whole article up there, just read this list…
- You are not your mind.
- Life unfolds only in moments.
- Quality of life is determined by how you deal with your moments, not which moments happen and which don’t.
- Most of life is imaginary.
- Human beings have evolved to suffer, and we are better at suffering than anything else.
- Emotions exist to make us biased.
- All people operate from the same two motivations: to fulfill their desires and to escape their suffering.
- Beliefs are nothing to be proud of.
- Objectivity is subjective.
For starters, today I’m telling myself over and over that I am not my mind. And reminding myself that I am actually really, really good at dealing with moments. And no matter which ones life has in store for me, in 2014 or in 2022, I can handle them. And that’s all I need to do.
My 2014 new year’s resolution is therefore not to build the perfect earthquake-preparedness shed in the backyard (although, I’m not saying that won’t happen).
It’s to live by that list up there, every day of the year.