Past, present and future. After a couple weeks spent with ideas about the future pinballing around in my mind, I finally got some closure on a few things. There’s something to be said about spending too much time in the past or in the future can create a lot of stress.
Take for instance, if you were to think about the past, including regrets in your life, consequences of mistakes you had made, etc., it can get pretty depressing and unproductive, especially given the fact that you can’t do anything about the past.
At the other extreme, thinking too much about the future and what unknowns lay ahead, planning for every contingency, etc., can also create a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. This is especially the case for someone like me, who is Type A.
The present is the only time that you actually have control.
Decisions being made about today or the near future (i.e, what are you planning to do this weekend) – all this is within your control. And I suppose this view can also help with sailing as well. Even though you may want to plan for passage-making by provisioning twice the amount of food, making sure you have spares for many things, taking a near present view is certainly less stressful than planning out 2-3 years in advance.
Who can manage all those unknowns? It’s not possible.
I also noticed that, in thinking about change, I looked at some extreme examples of what our new life would be like. For example, what if we…
- made an offer on s/v Rachel J. Slocum
- had to close the sale in 30 days
- liquidate all our assets in the next 30 days
- move to Florida with just 2 suitcases each
Start our adventure all in the span of 3 months. Naturally, I freaked out. This was one of the main ideas pinballing around in my mind.
Another pinball was, what if we liquidated all our assets so we were left with just 2 suitcases each, flew to Germany and rented an apartment for a year while we apprenticed to the Sirius boatyard and helped to build our own sailboat.
As you can see, taking these extreme ideas and aggressive timelines stressed me out. But in pushing the limits and wrapping my head around them, I then relaxed the timeline.
For example, what if this took place over 1 year instead of 3 months? As a result of allowing myself more time, I felt less pressure and less stress. And in doing so, I could proceed with any choice with confidence.
Even though this works for me, this process is probably a bad one to mimic.
I have not read “The Power of Now” or “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. Based on reading the excerpts, I gather that both seem to echo similar sentiments as what I’ve written above.
It also just goes to show that there’s probably no new original thought these days. I do however believe as humans, we all experience similar experiences and awakenings. And I suppose rather than look for credit or take credit, let’s all appreciate the truth in each of us, however we arrive at these truths.
Past, present and future updates
as of May 9, 2020
Over the past week, my mom has also been experiencing insomnia largely due to having to make major decisions and redefining her relationship with money.
Since I have experienced this very recently as written up in Support Local, this has given me the opportunity to help her with this concept of quieting her mind and acknowledging what she has control over. She and I both have an ability to multi-task well, but when there are too many things happening simultaneously, we are overwhelmed and we break down.
So I’ve been giving her tools to help assign different timelines to certain activities much as how I have mapped out my short term and long term goals in both a bullet journal as well as in our whiteboard exercise. In addition, I have helped her with this concept of past, present and future. The hope is that by focusing her mind as much as she can on the present or near present, she could get through the night and sleep peacefully.