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How can I live in the now?

I’m scared of time passing me by.

Our elder has some tips for living in the moment.

Dear EWC

I am currently a senior in high school and getting ready to head off to college (if Covid-19 allows). It’s very exciting and I am looking forward to it but with college comes a very scary sense of adulthood. It’s hard to believe I won’t be a ‘kid’ anymore and I don’t know where the time has gone. This has made me realize that I can’t just let time pass me by anymore. I’ve gotten into the habit of falling into a routine and just following that until before I know it I have nearly missed two months. As cheesy as it sounds, I was wondering if you had any advice on how to stop just existing and start living. I really just don’t want to wake up one day and realize I let my life pass me by. I know people say to live in the moment but that is easier said than done. I have a tendency to become a little numb and end up doing something to ‘feel alive’ like bleaching my hair or partying, neither of which are good ideas or good for me. I am not sure if anyone really has an answer to this age-old question but I would really appreciate any tips! Thanks and stay safe!

Ketchman replies

Thank you for contacting us. I’ll try to help.

“Living in the moment” is, actually, some pretty good advice and, yes, it can be difficult to start. The trick is to try to be conscious of what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. When taking a walk, for example, be aware of what’s going on around you — birdsong, traffic, scenery, the breeze on your face. If you can put your concentration on those elements, and not on thoughts of what you’re going to do in the future, or did in the past, or what your friends might be up to, it can make something as simple as a walk a supremely relaxing experience. You can do it while washing dishes. Instead of thinking about the drudgery of the task, get into the experience. The way the warm water feels on your hands, the changing reflection of light off the plates, the sound water makes coming out of the faucet. It’s a form of meditation that can make mundane experiences almost magical.

Doing things that make the world a tiny bit better for your presence will also go a long way towards making you feel alive. There are lots of opportunities for that, especially now. I’m sure you’ve heard about a lot of them — getting some take out for a neighbor, calling or messaging someone who’s alone or with few friends, volunteering an hour or two at a food bank — the possibilities are almost endless. Knowing you’ve made a difference, no matter how small, will make you feel a lot better than the thrills of hair bleach.

I wish you luck, success, and happiness. You are at the brink of a great adventure. An opportunity for new experiences, friends, and knowledge. The thought of all those possibilities can be a little frightening- kind of like being at the top of a very steep ski slope for the first time. You’ve got to just suck up that fear, take the first step, and open yourself up for the thrills that will follow.

Thank you for giving me a chance to help. I hope I have.

Letter #: 457897
Category: Self-Improvement

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