I have this “other podcast”, that I call Intervals…and unlike the portmanteau title of Phedippidations…the title “Intervals” is a bit of a double entendre. Whereas Phedippidations usually has a theme to each episode…Intervals is themeless. I “make it up as I go along”, and it has been a sort of “stream of consciousness” podcast that I put out there…because, why not?
Today we’ll go back to the year of our (Time) Lord 2010. It was a good year; as years go. Since then, so much has changed in my life…as it has with yours.
Back then I was still running road races and marathons, back then my weight was below 190 and my injuries were minor.
Now, I’m not telling you this as someone who laments the good old days…or to garner sympathy for the darks times we’ve experienced since…I’m simply putting this out there to remind you that the period of four years both seems like a long time ago, and yet it’s demonstrably not.
So what should we learn from this? I think it’s best that we live in the present. Assume that tomorrow will be a better day, but don’t dwell on it…don’t focus on what’s to come because: that’s for later; be here: now.
I am notoriously bad at living for the moment…the very exercise of producing this episode has forced me to relive my past…and that took me away from where I was as I listened to over 40 hours of podcasts, taking notes on bits to include here. What a colossal waste of time…I only hope that I didn’t waste yours…and maybe, just maybe, my effort here will have forced us both to consider living in the present.
The Buddah said “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
We can only truly experience the universe and our own lives, right now…in the present. The past and future are nothing more than concepts…our brains retain the memories of what happened and create thoughts about what will be…but it’s the present that matters. Right now, where ever you are, listening to my voice…which, interestingly was recorded in your past…this present moment is the thing we should concentrate on.
The problem with dwelling on the past and future is that you can easily get stuck there…and that’s not good because if you’re there and not here, you’re missing out on having a profound experience every day…you’re missing out on what’s happening all around you…you’re missing out on life.
The person who recorded these Intervals is gone forever…in his place, right now…is this new guy…facing not the future or lamenting the past: but trying as best he can…(and not going all that great of a job of it, may I point out) of living his life in the present.
It’s not easy…it seems like it should be, but it’s not. You want to experience something more profound than the “Ice Bucket Challenge”? I challenge you to sit quietly, somewhere…anywhere, and concentrate on just being there.
It takes practice, and it’s very, very hard to do…but if you can run a road race: a 5K, 10K or marathon, you already have an indomitable spirit to try anything.
I feel like I should make it clear, again, that I am not very good at living in the present. I don’t believe in ghosts…but I’ve certainly been haunted by the events of the past four years. It’s time for all of us to move on…to where we are now.
The Buddhist monk “Thich Nhat Hanh” once wrote that:
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future.
If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.
Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously.
Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky.
Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
I wish I had lived more in the moment, through my past…but that doesn’t mean I can’t do so in my future…and maybe the best way for me to do that is to not worry about it.