I recently read a book "Where ever you go, There you are". I love this title, it is a very simple and obvious statement, but at the same time it wraps up so much complexity. Ultimately it means that there is only the present moment, we are where we are, and that we need to deal with the choices and events that we have now, not those in the future or those that happened in the past. It is a book about mindfulness and a guide on getting there.
I have habit of living in the future. My entire life thus far has been made up of getting to the next stage, because that's where the happiness lies (or so I thought); graduate from high school and get a job, will have a better job when I graduate university, it'll be better/nicer/funner when my child walks, or talks or is potty trained, I'll be happy and secure when I buy a house. It gets worse when I put off doing things because I'm waiting for the perfect circumstances; the weather is not right, I don't feel awake enough, I've had a busy day. Unfortunately this has caused me to miss and underappreciate a lot of the life I've already had.
When I first read the book, I discounted a lot of what it was saying. The book advocates for spending time doing nothing, spending time taking in each moment and spending time meditating, which I felt that I didn't have time for. But it seemed like it was worth a shot. So I've started to spend some time doing nothing, on purpose, and to not feel guilty about it. I've started to do things because I have a reason to do it now and to ignore the things that need to be done to prepare for some future event and most importantly I've been focusing on the things that I'm doing rather than having other things on my mind.
Has there been a pay off thus far? YES. I am less frustrated, I am able to better listen to my children when they have problems and give them my full attention, I am becoming less focused on unlikely future scenarios and more focused on the actions I can take today.