“We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a particular moment, a certain situation, may be a door to our future.”

If there was ever advice that I personally needed to follow, this would be it. My anxiety takes over in almost all situations and inevitably takes away the enjoyment. I always thought that it was a great character trait to have. I always think five moves ahead, as if I was playing a game of chess. That’s how you win right? You always need to stay ahead of the game, pondering the next move. There is no time to sit and bask in the glory of an amazing move. No time to enjoy the conversation with your opponent. After all, they are the enemy.

Here is an exaggerated example of how this plays out in my life. We are huge fans of theme parks and find ourselves quite often at Walt Disney World. When we go to Magic Kingdom, we, of course, have an amazing time, but that experience is often preempted by my anxiety. I’m worried about the weather, the crowds, difficulty getting out of the park and back to the car, traffic on the way home, and the list continues. I want to live in the moment and enjoy the time with family but there is always this stress in my mind that keeps me from truly letting go. I know that there are memories that I am leaving on the table. I realize that time with my children is precious and nothing should keep me from living in the moment. Why would I want to bring on the future so quickly by thinking about it all the time?

Strange thing is, I’m always the first person to point out to others that there is no need to stress about things that cannot be changed. I will remind my wife that planning is important but after the planning is done, we need to trust the plans and enjoy the ride. Easy for me to say, but not so easy for me to follow. In the back of my mind, I am always questioning the plans, changing plans, and ultimately causing more issues than if I had stuck to the initial plan. I have also stressed out everyone around me and possibly snapped at a few people for no reason at all.

I wish I knew the answer to living in the moment. I wish it were easy for me to follow my own advice. It tends to be easy for me to understand the ways that I wish to improve myself but not as easy to find that answer for how it can be improved. That is most likely why I write these feelings down. Writing is a sort of release where I can live in the moment. I am focusing so heavily on what I am trying to say that I’m not worried about my upcoming day at work or what bills need to be paid. I am focusing on this “particular moment”, this “certain situation”. Maybe by doing this consistently it will open a “door to the future”.