I have always wanted to be perfect – pass my exams perfectly, execute plans flawlessly, dress perfectly, have a perfect day etc etc. But now I realize that is not life. That is not living in the present!
I am a planner. I get an idea in my head and design the steps to make that happen. I recently arrived in NYC for a few vacation days. I had a “plan” except it was really an “idea of my imagination”. I had booked somewhere to stay and one excursion but nothing else. We arrived and things were not quite like they were in my imagination. The apartment wasn’t as cool as I wanted. I couldn’t find a great restaurant that I had imagined would be around the corner from our apartment. I couldn’t find the new grocery store that had been recommended. Then to cap it all it started raining!! I was so frustrated and didn’t want to admit to my companion that anything was wrong!
Next day, a new day, I contemplated what had been happening! When things are not living up to my expectations I am in my head and not in the present moment. I make decisions based on what “ought to be” rather than “what is”. I realized I like finding a problem, then I can solve the problem and I’m good at that! I’m so good I create problems just so I can solve them. When I have a problem to solve I am in my head and out of the present moment. When I’m living in my head things don’t flow. When I’m living in the present everything is alright and things flow.
So with a new attitude I went out for my day in NYC. Boy, I made mistakes all over the place. I got the time of the excursion wrong and we turned up late. We still could have gone but I missed the instruction to wear close-toed shoes so NO GO! This time I admitted I had messed up. We moved on without a plan and had a fun time going to different places that were on a list of things we might like to do. We added in different things along the way as we saw them. To top off the day I went back to one of the restaurants I had rejected on that first evening and it was great – everything i had imagined for our restaurant around the corner!
Off for another day. How much time can I stay in the present today? My only plan is to enjoy the day and stay present!