I had an exhausting week the past week, so I am not possessing the mood to write. To be honest these days 9 out of 10 times there is no mood, just a commitment. The value of documentation and reading my own writing only comes later, so I guess you can say I am staying committed to my future self.
It is not easy to transverse the planes of my past, present and future self when I’m thinking and making decisions. Most of us tend to be biased towards the past or the future, almost never the present. But we forget that now is what we have, the future is never guaranteed.
Because of my past I tend to be very conservative when planning for my future. I was too reckless in my past, so I overcompensate by over-planning the future. Sometimes I plan decades ahead, because all I want is just to feel safe. So I place limits on my present in order to ensure the future.
But last week what I consider a major crisis happened, and I am not sure if I have processed it yet. It is really weird, this disassociating feeling. I tend to spiral downwards and have emotional meltdowns, but again in recent years I have been over-compensating for my over-emotional self by disassociating whenever something untoward happens. This is potentially scary for me because the last time I disassociated like this I had a mental, emotional and physical breakdown 6 months down the road. The psyche hates repression, and will do anything to ensure we are fully aware of our emotions.
Feelings aside, it also hit me intellectually. That again without knowing I have fallen into the trap of over-planning and conserving for the future again. There is a gift of crises, if we manage to survive it: it allows me to see through all the crud and become fully aware of what truly matters. I have had this happen to me multiple times in my life – a crisis provoking me to have to complete reevaluation of how I am living my life. Ideally we shouldn’t wait for one to contemplate our lives, but the routine of daily life, the seemingly slow and stable passing of time, seems to dull the perception of our minds.
We only have now. Especially so when the world is getting more and more unstable with a potentially disabling virus that we cannot eradicate, proxy wars, misguided economics, and of course, climate change. I frequently look at the world around me and notice most people are going about their lives as though nothing is happening. I don’t blame them. Without these global crises life in itself can be already difficult because we live in badly designed systems governed by people with questionable psyches. Time and nature can be cruel, there is always life created and always life lost. We humans have fragile bodies and it is an ongoing miracle that billions of operations have to happen in harmony for us to live and breathe. But we’re not aware that we’re walking miracles and we abuse our bodies. We may not even know we’re abusing our bodies because some of us trust advice given to us by medical professionals and organisations – not knowing how much of research is done under questionable circumstances.
Today I am living and breathing. But my autonomic functions cannot be taken for granted, as evidenced by the millions of people suffering from long covid. These people cannot walk without feeling their hearts are going to give way. I am exceptionally careful, but I also know of exceptionally careful people who have gotten infected. I am not sure when is my turn, and will I be one of the unlucky ones to suffer long-term implications. Even without covid, as a woman going into her 40s I seem to be at risk for more and more health conditions. It is just going to get worse as I enter peri-menopause and menopause.
I have to remember I am no longer young, and whatever middle-aged youthfulness I have left will not last. If there are things I wish to do I should do it sooner. Delaying gratification is not always the right thing to do, from the perspective of a very finite body and life. Even if life is long, optimal health in a world full of stress, danger and toxins is challenging to maintain.
I’ll be thinking of how I want to re-prioritise my now.