I was thinking this morning about all the places I’ve been, all the people I’ve known and the relationships I’ve had. As usual, as I was driving into work I was putting together in my head what to write about today. I had a pretty good thought process going. I would like to go back to the early years with my Children. I’ve had jobs that I really enjoyed that I would like to have again.. There’s something about every relationship I’ve ever had that I really miss. There have been times of affluence and times of great contentment. Yes, there have been bad times; really bad times. But I was feeling like I needed to look back on the positives and remember that there has been a lot of good.
But then I realized something.
There’s no question that everything I’ve experienced, the people I’ve known, the places I’ve been and the relationships I’ve had is what has shaped my life and made me who I am today. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing to look back from time to time and reflect on our own history. But really…Is that the most productive use of my energy at this time?
With the thoughts about mindfulness I should be focusing my attention to the here and now. It was very cold this morning (which I really don’t like) but now that I’m at work I’m comfortable. My coffee tastes very good, and helps warm me from the inside out. I just stepped out for a smoke break, and now that I’ve warmed up the cool air actually felt good. And it felt even better when I came back inside. The sunshine coming through my window is bright and promises a beautiful day. I’ve got a lot of work to do today, but I’m energetic, organized and ready to take on the challenge. Now is great.
I get a lot of comfort from my morning routine activities. I get up, start the coffee, and go through the usual checking of email, looking at comments and stats from the blog, and reading the morning news on my computer. Regardless of my mood, I always start the day the same way. When I get to work, as my computer is booting up I go to the cafeteria and get another cup of coffee. I scan my work email to see if there’s anything major that I need to take care of and run the report that I use to prioritize my work. Then I get back on my personal email, and say good morning to the special friends I communicate with daily.
Many days, before I jump into the first task, I write.
I feel just a little bit guilty that I spend the first hour at work on something personal, but I’ve found that I end up being more focused and ready to tackle the day’s problems once I get started. Writing grounds me. It helps me put things into perspective, and gives me a chance to remind myself that things are never as bad as they might seem. Even when I’m severely depressed or uncontrollably manic, if I can make myself write it can be a welcome release. Writing is one of the strongest weapons in my arsenal.
As I think about it, there is a lot I should be thankful for too. I have a job. Even though it’s not the kind of job I’ve held in the past, it’s probably the best job I can have for this time. I’ve always been in some kind of position of responsibility. I’ve had major customers to keep satisfied, organizations to run and people to mentor and manage. With great authority however comes great stress. There is a constant expectation to perform. I’m really not sure that at this moment I’m really able to handle this kind of pressure. This job isn’t like that. I’m an individual contributor along with about thirty others doing the same thing. There’s a lot of work, but it really isn’t that hard. I’m an overachiever, so it’s easy to excel at what I do. And best of all, when the day is over I don’t think about it again until the next day. I don’t make the money I’ve been used to, but I make enough to live. For where I am at this time in my life, it’s the perfect job, and I’m thankful.
I have my friends. They are an integral part of my life, and I cherish each and every one of them.
I have my family. They are always there for me, and I am always there for them.
Then there’s the budding relationship. It’s in the early stages of development, and there is excitement and fun anticipating the promise of what is to come. She is fulfilling many of the desires and wants that I’ve been missing. I really enjoy her companionship. We have many great and deep conversations about, well, just about everything. She’s a romantic; so am I. It’s a day by day thing, but for today, I’m a lucky man.
My illness has been manageable. I’ve managed to pull myself out of a growing mania and avoid the usual depression that follows. My medication regimen is reasonable and appears to be working. My support circle is strong and I’m getting a great deal out of my therapy.
I am happy.
The past is important. It does define us, and gives us the lessons that hopefully we can recognize and apply. It brings back wonderful memories and even the bad experiences can be used as a reminder that even the worst of times can be survived. There are appropriate times to reflect on our history, but today isn’t one of them.
Today is the day to move forward.