A few weeks ago I listened to TED talk about anticipation. A group of people were polled on their favorite and least favorite day of the weekend. Nearly everybody said Friday was their favorite day and Sunday was their least favorite. Their reasoning? What lay ahead. They were excited for the prospect of the weekend and dreading the work week. That makes sense, right? But you have to wonder why people didn’t say Saturday as the favorite. Saturday is when you’re in the thick of the weekend – you’re participating in the plans you made on Friday or earlier in the week. So why not enjoy that day the most?
I have such a hard time living in the moment. I’m constantly aware of what is to come. This makes excellent at multitasking and delegating, which is why I was a fucking awesome McDonald’s employee when I was 16. But it makes for a pretty mundane existence day to day. I feel like my life is a perpetual vacation on which I take so many photos without appreciating the things and people around me. I don’t like that. I envy people who are able to live in the moment without feeling obligated to prepare for the future.
Preparing for the future is part of being a responsible adult. You don’t spend money wildly because you have bills. You don’t drink heavily on weeknights because you have work in the morning. You try to eat less red meat because your family has a history of heart disease. I fear that people view living in the moment as a sign of irresponsibility since it conjures ideas of childhood and naiveté. But remember when you were a child and the only thing you cared about was the game of make believe you were in? You weren’t worried about the scenario not concluding in an hour when you were called in for dinner – you just played and enjoyed yourself. I’d like to pinpoint the time when that changed for me, when I began realizing that time meant something and that hours in a day had to be doled out according to priority. I think if I were able to do that, I would be able to remember how to live in the moment.
I moved into a new apartment this weekend. I’ll be sharing the place with Carissa, a good friend since high school. I’ve been excited about the move since we saw the place. It’s not anything special – just a two bedroom place in Appleton, but we’ve made it really nice. I’m using this as an opportunity to revamp my life. A new place means a new start. I’ve started thinking about what sorts of things I intend to do here.
- At my new apartment, I will be a girl who runs. Or at least jogs. About twenty yards from my patio, there is a bike trail that runs through a park. Since my bike needs repairs, I decided to jog on the trail to see where it went. I only went for about a mile or two, but I felt like I was participating in my life, like I was taking advantage of my new neighborhood. And also burning some calories and toning my thighs.
- At my new apartment, I will be charming and beautiful and always organized. I have really good intentions of keeping my space neat, but whether that will happen remains to be seen. I’m pretty considerate when it comes to shared spaces, because I know that I hate cleaning up after somebody else, but my room is a different story. I just feel like that now that I’m an adult who is working full time, I have at least some obligation to keep my room somewhat clean.
- At my new apartment, I will meet my neighbors and appreciate their bird feeders. In my backyard, there is a small grove of trees surrounding a bird feeder. I’ve seen robins, cardinals, blue jays, doves, finches, and even a hummingbird. He introduced himself as John, and we had a short conversation about the apartment. He said his partner would be coming home soon, and that he was sure we would see each other around.
- At my new apartment, I will write outside whenever possible. Carissa bought a small patio set. It’s the perfect sized for my laptop, a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and a small snack. It faces the backyard with the birds, rabbits, and chipmunks. Even though I live in a complex, it still feels secluded because I’m not looking into the windows of the surrounding buildings.
- In my new apartment, I will read books. I will read actual books. Not Kindle books, but actual paper books. Most of my books were in storage before, so I wasn’t able to pull out a novel, sprawl on my bed and read for a couple hours. But now, I can. Now, my books are available and I have a queen sized upon that is basically begging to be read upon.
I love anticipation.