One of the things affecting my mindset in this situation is just my sense of time.
For some reason, this weekend it started to feel like it’s sort of hanging in time, like there’s no clear sense of movement towards something, but instead everything’s sort of sitting in stasis, just permanently in this situation.
And of course, this is never really true.
Our situation is never permanent.
Things are always changing.
But it’s like a way that sometimes it can start to feel like things are going nowhere.
I mean, in terms of the lockdown, there’s absolutely no sense of when it might end or change, and it just starts to get this feeling like it could go on forever.
Now, I wonder what actually causes this feeling.
Somehow it’s like losing touch with the bigger picture, losing touch with the broader perspective on time, and instead becoming zoomed in, becoming focused on one little piece in time.
And when we become focused on only the present, then it, well, clearly that is a loss of perspective.
It really makes it hard to make good decisions, because it’s almost like not even believing that the future exists.
It’s just like now being in this some kind of otherworld where things are the way they are, and that’s the world we’re in, and somehow it’s going to remain this way.
Now, if I let myself fall too far into this zoomed-in present-moment view, then why not just waste my time? Why not just escape and entertain myself? Because we need to have some kind of future to build towards in order to not simply waste time.
If we can’t even imagine that there’s some kind of future we could be heading into, then why say no to anything that is amusing me in the present? Why not simply entertain myself in the present, and just keep doing that as this endless present just carries on and on, just keep looking for the next bit of entertainment? If I’m going to actually sacrifice that momentary entertainment, do things that are boring, that are unpleasant, difficult, in order to somehow lead to good results later, I have to have some kind of belief that this later will come.
So of course, even though I know that this situation is temporary, of course, and the future will of course change, and the future will come, and the way things are now is only for a short time: all that is very clear at some kind of conceptual level.
But certain days, it’s just like the feeling of that, that sense of being connected to the timeline, disappears.
So I’m curious to know what causes this.
What causes this feeling of being separated from the timeline, feeling withdrawn from the movement of time, disconnected from a possible future? Because somehow this seems like one of the core things to being able to make good decisions and do good work: when we feel like we’re plugged in.
It almost sounds like it’s going against the idea of being in the moment and living in the moment, because of course, it’s possible to go too far into thinking about the future and thinking about the big timeline and not focused on just the present.
But this weekend for me it’s going too far on the side of just zooming in on the present, and wow, I’m just so bored right now.
I want to be entertained right now.
And I don’t have that feeling that working towards the future is a worthwhile payoff.
So somehow, I need to remind myself that it is worth working for this future.
So I’d be curious if you’re having any reaction like this, and how it’s going for you.
#senseoftime #nofuture #endlesspresent