Pre-Birthday Mindfulness

With my 35th birthday on the horizon, I can't help but have some frantic thoughts that I'm not where I thought I might be by this point in my life.  These have been creeping up on  me over the past few weeks, causing some unwelcome stress and anxiety.  

I finally had to stop and ask myself:  why can't I just appreciate where I am in life RIGHT NOW?  Why do I always have to ruin the present moment by worrying about the future?

I'm notorious for this.  When I was single, I was fixated on finding Mr. Right.  When I was in school, I couldn't wait to have a job.  When I lived in an apartment, I was obsessed with buying a house.  When I didn't have a job, I was desperately trying to find one rather than enjoying that precious and rare opportunity.  And now that I'm working full-time again, I'd give anything to have an extended vacation.  When will I learn that things in life come and go in their own time, and I must not worry myself with changing them.  My job is to LIVE in the PRESENT, and experience each individual moment to its fullest potential.  But how can I do this if I'm constantly waiting and working for the next step??  

Reminds me of this beautiful quote by Joseph Conrad:  

"our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone - has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash - together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions." 

I don't want to miss the good stuff that is right under my nose.  I don't want to wish away my life looking toward a better tomorrow.  I want to appreciate where I am now, and know that everything is constantly changing, and I will reach the next step when the time is right.  I want to accept and embrace my current circumstances, and bloom where I am planted.  I want to remember and embrace what Thoreau said:  

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

So, bring on 35.  I'm ready to embrace and enjoy every minute of it!

Till next time,

Haley

© Haley McManigal 2015

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