So this is going to be one of those interactive blogs where you actually have to do something. You can either think it or write it down on a piece of paper…so if you need to get one I will wait and sip my coffee…
…Ready? OK here we go. I want you to think on a time that you would think it was the best time of your life. No one event but a time in your life. Got it? Write it down or think it over. How did you feel? What made it such a great time?
Now let’s do it again. Think back to you at that time. If you asked the you that was then what the best time of their life was what would you say? Would that you have been aware it was now?
So let’s put some context to this. When I had my first child it was hard, I had mild post-natal depression. I was very down and my child cried a lot (all night, every night…like most babies can) he had re-flux and colic. I recall sitting once with my mum, looking at a child when we were out who was about 18 months old and asking my mum how old she thought the child was. I was trying to work out how long until I had a child that didn’t need to be held all the time. I missed my husband, he was always there but I no longer was with him. We were two tired people, stuck in doors, trying to appease something else that didn’t seem to care how much we tried. I didn’t not want my baby but I did miss the sleep, the leaving the house when I wanted, my job, my friends…we had been massively under prepared for this new life and it hit us hard.
Fast forward a year when my baby was that 18 month old and we had adjusted to our new lives. I had to go back to work. I cried and cried for the time that I was going to be away from my child. But I had longed for this before! I had wanted some life back, some friends, some quiet.
So what changed? I’d like to call it the mindfulness of retrospect.
What does it link to (or not)?
Having taught Buddhism for quite a while I see many links here with Buddhism and it’s practises but it by no means tells us all about that practise. If you wish to know more about Buddhism you are going to spend much more time learning it that reading my blog.
But I do feel that what I experienced does link in with the concept and ideas of mindfulness and well-being.
Rose Coloured Glasses – Be mindful
The point is that we look back through life with rose coloured glasses. The last moment was sooo much better than it is now. Or it will be so much better in the future. It’s this that can effect our well-being and it’s this we need to be mindful of.
Now when I start to worry or get down on something in my life (I’m not doing enough, I’m not where I want to be, I’m not slim enough etc..) I have a moment to think about what future me will be looking back on now me and be jealous of. What will I be missing about now in 5 years time?
It sounds so easy and so obvious but how often do we do it? How often do we stop and rethink and refocus?
Be a bit mad…talk to yourself, often! But make it the you in 5 years time. What will you be missing from today? Do be sad about the fact that it might be gone, be happy that you have it now and appreciate (be mindful) of what you have now.
After all –
You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone!