Looking forward to the present

Head in the clouds

Head in the clouds

The worst aspect of going off on a big adventure is the way in which it changes your perspective on life. It’s all to do with that old adage, “what you’ve never had you never miss”. Or more a case of, “what you have had, you will miss”. Especially if what you have had was possibly the best experience of your whole life. Ordinary everyday life can seem a bit dull by comparison.

We are told that living in the present is the solution to inner peace and happiness but when the present is a bit crap it’s kind of hard to believe it. Isn’t that why so many of us spend our days looking forward to the evening, the weekdays waiting for the weekend and long periods of routine weeks dreaming of our next holiday. Surely that’s not healthy. It certainly doesn’t sound it when I read it back to myself.

Then again, everybody needs dreams don’t they? So where to find the balance?

The more I roll these ideas around in my head and the more befuddled I get. I mean, right now I am happy typing away and wrestling with this concept so you could say I am firmly rooted in the present so that’s a good thing right. But I can’t not know that I have no exciting plans for another big trip in the future. I can’t undo that knowledge so how can at least a part of my mind not be living in the future. The slightly bleak and empty future that is.

And another thing; if you don’t plan for the future then surely nothing will happen. I’m all for spontaneity but I’m hardly likely to get up one morning and just leave for a six month tour of Vietnam without having previously even considered the idea. I’m not even sure where it is. So we need plans to make things happen don’t we?  And here’s the real conundrum; when you are in the middle of planning an adventure that will take place in the future, are you living in the present or the future? It’s all very confusing. In fact it’s enough to drive a man to Buddhism.

I think I’ll spend a bit more time looking back at the photos of our trip and dreaming of the next one but I’ll do it all in a Zen like moment of the present. That seems to cover all bases.

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