I have lived most of my life focusing on the prosperity of tomorrow rather than the happiness of today. Sad, but true. (What a terribly negative way to start this post lol)
I came out to my parents as not-exactly-straight, not-exactly-Christian, and not-wanting-to-be-a-veterinarian-anymore during one extremely longggggg car ride to New Orleans circa 2014 (Now, THAT is a conversation you wouldn’t want to be present for -- ba-dum, chhhh…).
Those are three MAJOR changes of plans for a guy whose identity was largely rooted in the future.
You might be saying, "So what? You're no longer seeking a beautiful bride, eternal salvation, and a life constantly surrounded by animals-- wHat'S tHe bIG dEaL?"
And you're right! I mean, my spiritual life today is obviously influenced by those Christian roots, and I still think women are great… as friends.
Also, have you heard me talk about Cecil yet?
But maybe you can attest to this: the real problem (besides a potential identity crisis) with letting today’s happiness ride backseat to our expectations for tomorrow is that not only will our own plans and desires change between now and then, but so will infinite variables that are totally out of our control; it’s risky, and you can be left at any moment with only what you have in that moment.
And if you don't like what you have now... oof. But then again, that’s all we ever really have anyway. The future is never ours, the present always is.
Now, I’m not saying that it's bad to have goals, to set intentions, or to make resolutions-- to be clear, I am still a mega-planner (if you remember what I wrote a few weeks ago, I tend to think far more than I do).
In the past when I would plan out my daily agenda and to-do list (usually ridiculously unattainable, even on my best days), I would inevitably get frustrated and disappointed by the end of the day if I hadn’t checked off nearly as many boxes as I had hoped.
The “Alexander of today” still plots his days: I check my calendar the night before; I set alarms to wake up early so I can have a slow, precious start to my day; I like to write my lengthy to-do list(s) first thing in the morning...
The difference between the past and the present that keeps my frustration and disappointment at bay is simple:
Today, I am excited to watch how my goals and desires change.
Some days throw a total curveball as soon as I wake up and check my phone, some days wait until after lunch. It is a wonderful feeling to relinquish control over these surprises and admire the way you are adapting to them right before your very eyes.
If I had stayed firm with what I wanted yesterday without budging or allowing any wiggle room for change, I can guarantee without a doubt that I would not be nearly as happy and at peace with life as I am today. Of course, I'm still figuring it out and some days I feel like I can't get on the right side of things, but it's way more fun embracing change instead of trying to reject it.
I look back a lot on the “straight,” religiously strict, and ambitious veterinarian-to-be that I once was; if I had been more honest about what I wanted and more in tune with how my desires were never not changing, I can’t help but wonder how different life may be. Can you relate?
I'm curious: Are you in tune with what the “you of today” wants? Reply below and let me know! I’d love to hear how your goals of yesterday have made room for and changed into your goals of today!
Let’s get it (together),