The Anticipation of What is Next

by Nicole Serafin, age 40, Tintenbar, NSW

Living a day at a time and being in the moment of that day always felt like an art – an art I was never able to conquer.

Why is it that we are unable to simply be where it is that we are at? Why are we always looking ahead to what needs to be done next, or where we should be next, rather than being in the present? There are always things to be done and places to be. Could it be that the things we do could be done efficiently and clearly if we simply focussed on what we were doing in the moment we were doing them, before moving on to what was needed next?

I have felt the push to be somewhere, to get something done so as to move on to what is next, never stopping to feel what it was that I was actually doing. I had been caught up in doing, being in life in overdrive, and often on automatic pilot.

Living like this made me very impatient; never still long enough to enjoy what I was doing or who I was with. I always had in the back of my mind whatever was next. My days were exhausting as I used up most of my energy getting to somewhere before I had even left the place I was at.

Have you ever had that feeling of being ahead of yourself? Have you ever taken a glass out of a cupboard but already been one step towards the fridge to fill it? Or driven off from home not able to remember if you had closed and locked the front door?

I began to stop and wonder why it was that I could get to work and not even remember driving past the usual landmarks that were on my way. It amazed me how much I missed or did not remember because I was not truly present in a moment to begin with. I began to stop and take note of what it was that I was actually doing, and how I was doing it. I stopped and took the time to feel the simple things, like how fast I turned the tap on or how I prepared things. It began to make a huge difference in my day and how I was left at the end of it.

Gradually I could recall that yes, I had locked the front door when I left the house and no, the iron was not on. I could recall this because I was taking the time to be present in each moment as I was doing things. I began to bring my focus to other areas of my day and gradually life became not so crazy and hectic. I actually enjoyed whatever it was I was doing in the moment and took that feeling with me to what was needed in the next moment, and so on.

I now have energy left at the end of my day. I no longer live in the anticipation of where I should be next or what needs to be done next. I am no longer constantly in my head trying to remember ‘did I do that or not?’ These simple choices have changed my life in many different areas and continue to do so. The way that I choose to live and be with me brings changes to not only myself, but also to everything and everyone around me.

I now wake in the mornings without the rush of what needs to be done but rather with me, simply doing what needs to be done – one thing at a time. I get to work and live my day in the same easiness that I got up in, rather than in the overwhelm and raciness. I now have the space to be able to get everything plus more done, not only in the mornings, but also throughout the day. I find I am able to enjoy my family and children completely, being able to stop and be with them. There is a feeling of contentment from everyone.

I still fall into the trap of my past ways (life tends to support that). I notice that if I go into the doing and overwhelm of life there is no longer a flow and my day becomes quite challenging – challenging because I am trying to do ahead of myself, rather than to just be and do what is needed… and move on to the next thing from that. I know I can continue to make choices to be with myself in all that I do. The true vitality and enjoyment this presence brings me, and the ripple effect it has on the people around me, is well worth it.

615 thoughts on “The Anticipation of What is Next

  1. Always a supportive read, I particularly noticed your line about how being present and with yourself meant you take that same enjoyment and presence to each new task, and at the end of the day you have energy left. It seems like a harmless thing doesn’t it, to be in anticipation of what is next, yet I know from my own life not being present really raises stress levels, and do this over time and it can lead to health issues from the pressure constantly placed on the body (nervous system, etc) to be ahead of itself. I’m still working on being present, I can see some changes since my last read but also feel encouraged to keep going – thank you Nicole.

  2. It’s interesting what you say about life tending to support this need to look outside of ourselves rather than just being with ourselves. I wonder why there seems to be a constant pull to look outward rather than within?

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