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(How To) Stop Stealing Time From Yourself!
Time is of the essence.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately.
With making a decision between medical school and Physician Assisting, and with trying to balance building BetterMe and doing well in school, I many times come to ponder about what is most important to me.
I fear that time will fly by and that before I know it, I will be stuck with a feeling of loss because I had "missed my opportunity" and the right time to do what I needed to do in order to reach my goals.
I NEVER want to one day look back on my life and feel that I did not take a chance I should have taken or that I did not use my time wisely. This is one of my biggest fears.
I used to often say things like, "Oh my goodness, how did the week go by so quickly?!" Or the month. I CAN'T be the only one who says the year.
It was recently that I realized that I need to stop doing this.
I lived the week. Remember how you stayed up late studying for that bio exam? Remember how awesome the weekend was when you got to hang out with all of your friends and didn't have to work all of Saturday?
I lived the month. My first month of college, I met so many new people. I started living in a new town. I started a new life, in a sense. Everything was so different. Everything IS different.
In a sense, I felt like I was stealing these memories from myself because I was acting like they didn't happen. Like I was disregarding them.
It was about three weeks ago when I last asked myself out loud how the month had passed by so quickly. I stopped myself. I just stood in front of my calendar (making the moment a little too dramatic, though it was dramatic nonetheless), and thought about how much it really sucks to diminish the wonderfulness (yes, I am making up a word here because I want to!!!!) of the past month. Yes, there was a lot of studying involved, but I just freaking love college. I love living with my friends and meeting nice people and having the freedom to make decisions for myself all the time!
By questioning where the month had gone, I felt like I was taking that time and the memories away form myself, as if they had never happened, as if I had never experienced them, as if I didn't live through the month.
So, I stood there for another five minute and looked through each week and said to myself out loud, "I remember meeting this friend on this day and feeling so happy that I had made a new friend. I remember how we hung out and how happy I was with that day." I moved on to a few other days, reminding myself of what I did and how good it was. I looked over the month, summarizing its events in my head.
From that moment on, I decided to stop saying things like, "how did the month pass by?" or "where did the week go?" or "I can't even remember what happened on Monday."
I have been thinking with this mindset now for three weeks and I feel like I'm living a fuller life. I know this sounds strange. Fuller life? Because of this small insignificant idea?
Let me tell you how I have changed (maybe you will try it out and see what I mean):
(note: I naturally do these things. They may not work for everybody. Even if you don't think these would be things that yo would be interested I trying, I still recommend giving them try. You never know what may make a change in your life. Sometimes its good to try out new ways of thinking and finding what works best for you).
Three days before starting my senior year of high school, I sat on the phone for about two hours talking with my best friend. We discussed the previous school year and how the next school year would pass by quickly, and how we would have to enjoy our last year of being in school together. I realized that I have to take every moment into consideration. I need to appreciate and be mindful of every soon-to-be memory, every I-will-look-back-at-this-one-day-and-feel-nostalgic type of moment. Try to think about where you are in time. I like to do this because I become conscious of who exactly I am at a specific time of my life. I am becoming aware of the moment. Just the other day, as I was sitting in the library at 1:00 am studying, I looked up from my textbook and spaced out for a second. I then noticed my friend sitting a few tables down from me. As I looked at her, I thought to myself how interesting it is that we had known each other for 7 years prior to living in the same college dorm. Even though I would see her almost every weekend at prayer services, I had never spoken to her. Ever. And now we are friends in college and next time when we go to services, we will actually sit next to each other for the first time ever. Time changes things. It's interesting. Notice how time changes certain aspects of your life. Take note of them.
I literally did when I pulled out my handy dandy notebook (a composition notebook that I carry around). Whenever I feel like writing (when I'm deep in thought or have an idea, or feel anxiety creeping up on me), I just pull it out. Doesn't matter what I'm doing. I write because I know I need to. I highly recommend carrying around a notebook in which you can write your thoughts. Be cognizant of where you are (place and time), and write about whatever it is you're feeling. Allow your time to stop for a moment, giving yourself an opportunity to take in the moment, and to appreciate it. I wrote about how crazy it is that this girl and I are now friends. Behind her, I could see my dorm building through the window. I wrote about how crazy it is that I now live across the library. I went from never going to the library (because the one in my town is creepy and smells) and living in the quiet suburb where one sees trees when looking out the window, to living across the library and right next door to the gym. Now when I look out my window, I see busses, cars, and people passing by. Life changes so much. I want to remember these defining moments because they are what make up our stories. I want to make sure to really live these moments, making sure that I realize in the moment how much I appreciate them, so that I won't one day look back and feel like I never actually noticed what I had.
I love to think. I am always thinking about how much my life and I are changing. Although this gets annoying at times because I just want to live in the moment, I realized (after taking time off from doing this and testing out what it's like to not think so much) that it helps me pull my life together. What I mean by this: By thinking about how my life has changed in the past couple of weeks, there is a smooth flow from high school to college. Like I said before, this allows me to pull together my life's defining moments (the change, the new people in my life, my personal success. And like I said before, I won't one day look back and question how I got to where I am or "where the time went?" because I am making myself aware of it beforehand. Do the thinking in moderation though. LIVE LIFE IN THE MOMENT. Stop constant planning ahead and dwelling on the past. You are living now. Today. Take a little bit of time out of your day to think. Try before you go to sleep, or when you get back home from school.
The last thing that I try to do ALWAYS, is to just simply make the best out of every moment. When you get upset about something, think to yourself, "I can be upset because it is important to care, but don't forget to remember all of the good things that are going on." Despite the negative, there is still positive. Try not to waste your time dwelling. Live the moment to its fullest-at least as much as you can.
So there you go!
-Think about where you are in time
-Take note of things that are changing in your life. Be cognizant of
the effect that time has had on your life and who you are today as
opposed to who you were before
-Take in the moment by noting it to yourself or writing it down in a
journal. Journals help with many things, such as relieving anxiety
and stress, getting yourself to stop dwelling on something (upset
about your bad test grade? Write about it. Move on), and jotting
down ideas (when I think of a blog post idea, I start writing the
beginning of the post so that I can conserve some of the
inspiration that I feel at that moment so that I can continue the
post when I have time to finish writing it).
-Think (in moderation please)!
-Live in the moment!
-Stop dwelling on the past and constantly thinking about the future. -Everything in moderation!
-Make the best out of every moment.