Is it me, or is time flying by faster than ever? Already over a month into the new year and there’s so much that I haven’t gotten to yet. Just too much to do and not enough time. It helps me to look back over past to-do lists in order to confirm that yes, I actually have accomplished some things, however in the ‘now’, as I sit here at my desk this very moment, stopped in the face of a daunting list of goals, it hardly seems I’ve completed one silly thing.
There’s no point to my listing all the many projects, tasks and sub-tasks; we all have our lists. It just seems that I seldom come to a place of completion. The list beckons me forward unendingly, and all the zen wisdom in the world about living in the now is just so much meaningless crap. Yeah, yeah, I know all we have is the now, I get it, but come on, just look at this list!! I mean, come on!
Are most of us like this? My ex used to tell me that my biggest problem in getting things done were all the conditions I put upon a situation. As in I must get A done in order to do B, making B ever elusive as long as A was at a standstill. I think he was correct to a degree, but truly, many tasks are linear, a process in which certain things must be done first. And so when A aint happening, B seems completely out of reach.
Often during my day I’ll feel a sense of ill-ease just hovering about me. In order to quash the sensation, I’ll try to identify just what the hell this vague nagging is about. The best I can come away with is that I feel I have real work to do which I can’t seem to get to because of all the life crap: the forms to be filled out, the papers to be filed, the papers to be retrieved, copied, faxed, notarized. Alright already!! Please, world, just leave me alone so I can teach, write, learn, enjoy friendships… please leave me alone so that I can live. Please, life, don’t require me to spend several hours of each day just waiting on hold, sending emails, filling out forms. And don’t get me started on laundry. Seriously, with housework added on to the pile, I’m amazed any one of us gets anything done. Really.
Lest I appear on an insane pursuit of the unrealistic goal of finding some peace with my life as it is, I would like to recount something that happened to me many years ago that proves a sense of satisfaction is not entirely elusive and can actually be achieved. I once experienced a moment of perfection. Not a meditative moment in which I finally felt what it was to be one with all, not a cosmic moment in which I existed only in the now – but rather a full-on, in-the-flesh, earth-bound moment. I remember sitting in my little Toyota Corolla, facing the brick wall of the dry cleaners in my beloved Rogers Park neighborhood. I just sat there for a moment. I was feeling good. Wow. I realized I was completely happy. I was in love, I was healthy, I was picking up beautiful clothes that had been cleaned for me, I lived on the lake in a gorgeous apartment, I had two cats I loved, parents I loved, a career I loved, a car I loved. In that glorious moment, I felt on top of the world. And the thing was – the feeling lasted. It wasn’t just a one moment in time; it was simply a moment in which I paused to acknowledge it, to feel it fully. In fact, I rode the wave of that good feeling for several years. I had it good, and I knew it; I felt it, I lived it. The tasks before me were challenging but always surmountable, inspiring, educational. I enjoyed all that life brought to me. I did the things I set out to accomplish. I was doing things, getting things done. And I loved my life.
So. I do know, from experience, that there is an earthly, finite point at which things can finally come together. I think there should be a point at which one can simply feel that all is well – I don’t think it’s unrealistic. And because I’ve known it before, I’m keenly on the watch for it again. It will happen. For those who would remind me that ‘all we have is right now’ I would add sincerely that for the most part I do enjoy the process. I do enjoy most of the ‘right nows‘. Just this one not so much. But I’m not daunted. Please friends, let’s not any of us be daunted. Pain in the ass though it may be, we can do this life thing!
Yes, I know. Every journey begins with a single step. So today I think I’ll go for a good, long walk…