Ah, waiting. You might think, based on how much I write about meditation, I must be a pretty zen guy. Well, I certainly have my moments.
But the truth is I have all the same struggles as everyone else.
Like with waiting.
I used to be awful with it. Especially for something big or important.
Well, I’m far from perfect.
But I’ve come a long way.
I’m thinking of this because, as I’m writing this, some part of me is waiting. I’m writing the first draft just as the sun is starting to rise outside my window. Around the time that same sun sets, I have a phone call scheduled that might just change my life.
By the time you read this, that call will probably have come and gone. Right now, for the me from the past writing this, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out.
And I have a whole day’s worth of sunlight between now and me finding out.
There’s a time, even just a few years ago, where waiting for something this big would have derailed me. I wouldn’t have been able to focus on writing this. I’d probably be pacing my room already, trying not to run through every possible situation.
What kinds of situations?
You know the kinds.
What if this call goes really badly and I embarrass myself? What if it goes well?
Do I know what I need to say, do, breathe, prepare for…?
Is there a backup plan? What if my phone dies or someone steals it?
What if I forget?
Did I do the timezone conversion right – what if they expect a call four hours earlier than I make it?
That’s just the start. My imagination can go to scary, bizarre places with a scenario like this.
But today, I’m focused. Yes, I’m overthinking something in the future. That doesn’t help me, beyond taking reasonable preparations.
So if that’s the problem, I simply need to bring my overthinking to the present.
Instead of fixating on the future, obsess about the now.
What’s going on in this moment?
What can I do about that?
Those are better questions.
And one thing I can do in the present, but not while thinking of the future, is to write this article. That’s a productive and healthy use of my time.
You can wish me luck – past me who’s writing this, that is.
And you can learn to use your overthinking to your advantage.
It’s an inevitable side effect of learning to meditate like this:
P.S. The call went extremely well.