Just doing it.
The thing is in the doing. Thinking about doing is almost always scarier than actually doing.
Expansion and contraction of time.
I wrote these words on my drawing pad right before I went to bed the other night. (Yes, I bought myself a drawing pad, and yes I have used it a couple of times to make truly awful sketches.) I didn’t want to open up my computer and I didn’t really want to write anything in the moment, nor did I want to forget those two thoughts. And I am glad I wrote it down — those ideas have been bouncing around my head for a few days.
Although those are two separate thoughts, they are intertwined for me at the moment. I am 4 weeks into my new not-working-in-an-office life. When I think back to my last post — the early morning of my first non-office day, I was thinking about the doing. What seemed so scary then is now the new normal. I can’t remember the quote exactly from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but the author talks about this phenomenon. When you are looking towards the future and the unknown it can seem daunting, but when you are in the middle of it, taking it one step at a time, that fear dissipates and you become wrapped up in just doing. I want to take that to heart — every single moment of every single day — because it would be easy to fall into the trap of worrying about what comes next. I also easily fall into the trap of thinking I will be rewarded if I accomplish something — write a novel, take good pictures, draw a nice sketch, etc. But yesterday I realized something I already knew deep down inside. I had to turn off my mind to realize it but here is what popped up: “Life is its own reward!” The reward isn’t in the external achievement, but being able to embrace the moment, even if you have a throbbing headache and you haven’t gotten out of your pjs by 3pm, like me the other day.
And that is when I started thinking about the expansion and contraction of time. I took a leave of absence from work in order to be more present for my son’s senior year of high school. Yesterday I got an email about his graduation date — late June. That is 9 months from now — gee — that hit me as symbolic! I have nine months with this boy before he heads on to a new chapter! And for me — I have nine months in this current chapter of self-discovery. A few months ago, if you asked me, a school year felt like a long time. Now I see that 10 months, quickly turns to nine months, which turns into eight months, and so on until you are counting the days and the experience will be over. So like a loop- I return to my first thought — “The thing is the doing.” Just do — and keep on doing. The time will pass without me having to fret or worry about it, so focus on the days you have, be grateful, savor the small moments, and do things. Do scary things. Do things that put you out of your comfort zone, because once you do them, you realize the scary part was thinking about it, not actually doing.
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FYI: This article originally appeared on my website: https://lesixteenth.com/