I've been worrying about the future again. I don't know about you, but I can be prone to do that.
The past year and a half since I decided to quit my steady paying job to be a writer full-time, I've watched my savings decrease little by little each month.
I'm a saver by nature. I like having money in the bank. Who doesn't? I like contributing to my retirement account. I've never been one to carry credit card debt.
I've been making it work so far. Thanks in large part to a very unexpected inheritance I recieved a year ago, which bought me some more time. But the fact is, I'm bringing in less money than I'm putting out. I keep a detailed budget every month and see what's happening. Until lately this hasn't bothered me much. I knew I had time. I figured my book sales would increase soon enough. But as that has yet to happen, I'm starting to worry.
I've been working two days a week at a florist, in preparation for the busy Valentine's Day time. I was hired on as holiday help. I would like to stay on and work part-time year-round, but I don't know if they need additional employees the rest of the year.
Apart from the work/money uncertainty, there's the additional fact that my boyfriend and I are no longer living together, and while we're still seeing each other, the future of the relationship also feels uncertain. Will we find that we're happier apart? Will he enjoy his new-found freedom for really the first time in his adult life? I have no idea.
Perhaps it is because of all this uncertainty that my motivation has been so low lately. It's like I'm not motivated to do anything to move forward because I don't know where forward is. I'm not sure what I want anymore. And this is scary!
I have a novel almost ready for publication. Almost. Why can't I summon the motivation to read through it and do what needs to be done to finish it? There has to be a reason, yet I haven't been able to identify it yet.
Honestly, I'm feeling like a bum lately. Like a lazy, unmotivated, unproductive bum.
As I was driving to my Pilates class this morning it hit me to just "enjoy right now!"
Do I have enough money RIGHT NOW? Yes!
Do I have work RIGHT NOW? Yes!
Am I content with my relationship status RIGHT NOW? Yes!
The future will work itself out. We don't need to worry about it.
Easier said than done, but still true.
The first step to increasing our motivation is to act. Do something. Even if that something is just a walk around the block or a 20-minute meditation. Both of which have been known to shake me out of my "stuck" feeling.
For several weeks I was meditating every morning. No matter what. I was doing so well, I no longer felt the "need" to meditate. So I stopped. Tomorrow morning I plan to resume my meditation practice. I'm excited to see how that effects me.
So here's my new plan (in addition to the meditation): Focus more on the present. My present is pretty darn good. I often lose sight of that due to my anxiety about the future.
Remember, we get what we think about. By worrying about the future, whether or not I'll have enough money, whether or not I'll feel productive or motivated or have a sense of direction... that's precisely what I'm creating. No more!
There are lots of things I can do right now. It doesn't always have to "go somewhere." Well, actually, it always is going somewhere, we just don't always know where that somewhere is.
But know this. Wherever we are, is exactly where we need to be.
I need to be here, in this unproductive-bum-feeling state. I don't know why, but I'm in this place for a reason. I'm preparing for something. Time to get excited about that!
As Steve Jobs said in the quote below, "you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." My dots have felt very sporadic for a while now. But I trust that they will connect. Somehow, sometime.
Quotes of the Day:
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” (Mother Teresa)
"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." (Steve Jobs)
"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." (Earl Nightingale)