How’s the follow-through on those resolutions, my friends? Coming along nicely? Or have they already devolved into anxiety-producing, self-esteem-bashing, flaming failures? Not making resolutions is similar to being a pessimist by choice: If I don’t have high hopes, I won’t be disappointed. What am I droning on about? Resolutions are too much about the future, just like everything else in an academic life, and I want to discover how to dwell in the now. How do you dwell in the now? Practically, I mean?
No, I’m not going all Eckhart Tolle-ish on you now. I know meditation and yoga are all about awareness in the moment, and I wish I did more of both. I’m not alone. But it just doesn’t work for me. You see, I could go to the yoga studio in my “neighbourhood” tomorrow, which means getting there by 10 am for a wonderful class of yoga flow of 90 minutes or thereabouts. Are you kidding me? That will take up my whole morning. Or I could use one of the yoga apps I bought and have used exactly twice. Two time. I keep promising myself one of these days I’ll actually buy one of those cables which link my (old, first-generation) iPad to the TV, and will thus have a wonderful yoga experience. You know as well as I do consumerism is not going to get me dwelling in the moment. So I call bullshit on myself and move on.
On to more anxiety about the deadlines and how I will make them. Because make them I will. There is no question about that. The question is always about the price and what gives. And those are further reasons for anxiety. So, what I do is work. I find actually starting working–even if it means merely making a plan, an outline, a list of tasks, reading the first five pages of an article, basically anything that implies actual labour and not rumination–takes some of that anxiety away. Major projects become more manageable and I begin to envisage their unfolding in time. They become more material, rather than staying in the abstract and nebulous plane of existence.
That’s my living in the now: putting pen to paper, eye to screen, and mind to tasks. I wish it more spiritual, new-agey, and overall posh. But it’s not. I’m a worker bee, and my solution to curbing the anxiety about work is work itself. That way, I can actually take worry-free breaks. Because I know the work, broken down in clear tasks, will be there tomorrow or after lunch, too.
What about you? Can you give me your key to doing more yoga and meditation? Cause I really want to do more yoga and mediation. #noreally #nosarcasm