I have been juggling this idea for a while about balancing living in the moment and planning for the future whilst remaining content and happy with life as it is. Have you had that argument with yourself or your wing man 'We can't afford that' 'Come on, we only live once' 'Ok, YOLO'. Interchange that with 'I don't want to drink tonight (I'm looking after my health)' 'I don't want to go to that event (I'm really run down at the minute)' 'I'm sorry I don't have time to help you (I'm prioritising me and my own goals at the minute)' followed by the same answer.
That immediate joy and 'living in the now' versus planning for the future. This comes to me in a lot bigger ways such as being content with where I am on my creative journey right now, even though I can see where I want to be (or at least a vague idea) and I want to get there quicker, so I forget to enjoy where I am now. An artist I follow on the gram Emily Jeffords created the hashtag 'Do it for the process' and I totally agree with that, like I love painting, I created a whole series of work from travelling overseas for inspiration to having them shown at a gallery. I enjoyed the process so frickin much that I think that's what saved me from going through a devastating down hill spiral when the show was a complete flop! But, painting is only a teeny tiny part of running a creative business. If all I wanted to do was paint, I need to find myself a sugar Daddy to support my hobby. If I want to run a creative business I need to fill in all the other roles needed to make my business successful so in turn I can then paint all the time.
So I write goals. So many goals. Unfortunately a lot of the things I want to achieve cost money to complete, for example weekly publishing videos with my current equipment equals me filming a small section of my painting, then my camera battery dies/or the card is full, then upload to the computer (however long that may take) charge the camera, repeat x 5000, then edit the video on the computer IF there is enough space on my computer that is. Delete EVERYTHING else on my computer so there is space (or transfer to hard drive - which then makes looking for reference photo's a very time consuming task) edit the video, upload to computer (5000 hours later) Upload to weird program on internet that will likely hack me, upload to Youtube (500000 hours later), share on socials, get one view (lol just being cynical here) and then repeat.
You get the idea. So, to reach my goals I want stuff. Sure I can make steps prior to making that financial step, but I'm getting close to pretty sick of working Part time in an area I don't want to be in, then squish a minimum full time hour work into the rest of my week to try and achieve my creative goals. Like how long does this continue? I just want to be over there where I'm earning enough, not even heaps, just enough to sustain a relatively ok life, and not have to be using every ounce of energy striving to get there. Like I know about looking after myself, and sure I take time for myself, and yes to do my best work I need to be feeling my best mentally.... I get it. I know it. But also, the more I get done the sooner I'll get over there to the other side right? Right......?
So how do I live in the moment now, be happy and content, whilst striving to reach my goals and working my butt off to get there?
Fuck it, give me that beer.
Ok, that was me having a rant after working for far too long on my first Youtube video. After writing that (which in itself made me feel sooo much better) I then went for a drive to clear my head and pick up something yummy to cook for dinner. On the way I saw one of our neighbourino's cutting her grass with little scissors, she does this alllll the time, aerates the grass with her hands, trims the grass, hand waters the grass. She loves it and treats it with so much care and time. This got me thinking.... thinking about how much she must appreciate the process of what she's doing and how much she must love to do it. She's always happy and smiling, taking that time and slowing down to enjoy it.
Slowing down is the key here.
I am often so preoccupied with what being over there in the future will be like I forget all the amazing things that are happening right now. The truth is, even when I'm way over there in the future, I'll more than likely have even bigger goals and things I want to achieve, so if I'm always chasing, then I'll never really be living. To live and enjoy the now doesn't mean you don't plan for the future. That is still always present but I don't believe you can be all now, or all future. It needs to ebb and flow and balance out... So when I'm having my stress induced I'm crazy run down and busy moment, I need to 'smell the roses' for a lack of a better saying, and take in my life right now and how all my hard work and dedication up until this point has lead me here, right where I need to be, and I'll get to where I want to go, one baby step at a time, but first I need to breathe, and enjoy the now.
I think this is a lifelong process, fluctuating between looking at the future and living for the moment, the balancing act will continue, now to learn when to recognise when I'm too far one way, and make steps to correct it, to realign to my values and continue on my path.
Do these feelings happen to you? And if so how do you manage the balancing act? Is it about routine and ritual? About ensuring your allowing enough self care and me time so you free up the mental capacity to continue this balancing act? About getting out in nature and getting some perspective? I'd love any ideas.