Sunday, March 16, 2014


You can tell that I'm busy because the frequency of my posts has suddenly increased. I'm currently sitting in the central library in den Haag staring out at the sun shining on the streets and observing the people going about their Sunday afternoons on bikes and on foot. As soon as the sun peeps out from the sometimes seemingly endless blanket of grey, Dutch residents immediately can be found wandering the cobbled streets, cycling as a family, shopping, sipping a drink outside a cafe. Right now I'm super jealous. Unfortunately, my to do list does not complete itself magically when the sun pops out.

Whether or not to do lists complete themselves, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that our current western society has some things wrong and specifically my natural personality needs to be kept in check. I put a lot of pressure on myself and don't have a clue when to do stop getting involved in things. Recently, if I find myself in a moment where I allow my mind to wander, I immediately find myself running through my schedule and the many things I need to complete. I wake up in the morning and my first thoughts are the things I want to complete for that day. I feel gross, guilty and unproductive if I don't exercise. I want to be there for all people even if I'm finally honest with myself and realize that I'm not actually that close to them. I feel bad if I haven't contacted my faraway friends recently (the definition of recently has become more flexible). I worry about my Dad eating bad and continually refusing to learn how to cook. I think about how much money I should be saving and how much I've spent over the last month. I feel helpless when a friend is stressed and I feel like I can't do anything to help. I worry about my Mom selling our house and settling into our new place of residence in California. Occasionally, I think about whether or not I can finish the food I've bought for the week (or more like a few days) and stress about the possibility that I might have to throw bad food away (fortunately my obsession means this almost never happens). I constantly review the recent purchases I've made and analyse whether or not they were necessary and wonder if I am being too caught up in consumerism. Then I often rush back to the store to return items I deemed unnecessary.

BUT, in spite of all these thoughts running through my mind, I wouldn't say I'm a worrier. I know most things are out of my control and usually don't stress about them. However, shutting off my hyperactive body and mind and simply relishing the moment is nearly impossible for me (and I suspect many people in our non-stop western society). For me it's forcing myself to talk with a friend without feeling impatient about the things I need to do. Or going running or biking and letting my mind go blank. I think we spend so much time thinking and planning that we completely forget to just STOP and enjoy the sunshine, or the beautiful people around us, or a delicious carefully prepared meal with people we care about, or the glorious (to me at least) feeling of pushing my body to max and simply coming home exhausted and relishing in that happy endorphin filled exhaustion.

I'm not sure where I was going with this post besides procrastination from working, but wherever you are and whatever the weather just STOP and ENJOY the moment! 

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