It’s been awhile. A mixture of being lazy af over my week off, and my last few days of cramming 2 weeks worth of homework in, left me with everything else on the back burner.
I got to spend three days at home last week, and it was everything I needed to feel physically and emotionally refreshed. Going home for me these days means spending a lot of time with my parents, which in the past, was considered to be a less than exciting weekend. But now I feel like spending those nights in with my mom and dad, curled up on the couch watching movies are some of the most valuable moments. Nothing makes me feel more at home.
Going to church on Sundays was always a family thing that seemed annoying at times in high school (cause who wants to get up on a Sunday to go sit for an hour, completely zoned out, lets be real), but after moving away a few years ago, it became one of those things I missed about home. So last week I finally got to go to church again with my dad, and I actually paid attention. It was perfect timing, because the message ended up being something I desperately needed to be reminded of.
Many of us spend so much of our time worrying about the future, when half of the time we’re not even worrying about things that matter in the moment. Whether it be how stressful your next month of school is going to be, what’s going to happen to the world, how you’re going to survive when your best friend moves away, if that guy is ever going to like you back, or if you’re ever going to figure out what you’re doing with your life, there’s a good chance that the amount of time you’re spending worrying about it is too much. Many of the things you worry about probably won’t ever actually happen, and if they do, you will deal with it when it does. You are a strong and smart person – you will figure it out.
When you spend the present worrying, the precious moments of the present go unnoticed.
Being consumed by thoughts about all of the things that could happen or could never happen only take time away from thinking about all of the wonderful things that are happening right in this moment. Something that I’ve started trying to do is whenever I catch myself dreading or worrying about something in the future, I try to stop and replace my thoughts with something positive about the things going on in my life right now. Starting a gratitude journal has been a huge help in keeping a positive mindset. It can be what seems like the worst and most stressful day, but by sitting down at the end of the day and forcing myself to write down at least 3 things that happened that day or are happening in my life at the moment that I’m grateful for, really puts everything into perspective.
I’m a strong believer that your quality of life is determined more by your mindset and attitude than by anything that actually happens in your life. Why else do you see people out there who have millionaire parents and a closet that you can only dream of, but have shitty personalities and somehow think their life sucks? Or people who have next to nothing, but still find it in themselves to be grateful for the few things that they do have, and want to put their energy into helping others, rather than themselves?
If you think your life sucks, you’re right. And if you think you have an amazing life, you’re right. It takes just as much energy to believe that the world is against you and that nothing is ever going to work out as it does to believe that things will be okay. Personally, I think we’ll all be much happier if we choose to believe the latter.
I’m not saying that we should stop worrying altogether. I think a healthy amount of worrying is necessary, as long as it’s about something important. For example, you can’t just not worry that you have two midterms and a paper due in the next 3 days when you haven’t even started any of it (me), otherwise you’ll end up spending every hour jumping back and forth between every possible social media app on your phone, in hopes that you’ll come across something new and riveting to look at since you last checked 5 minutes ago (also me). And we can’t just ignore the terrible things that we’re doing to our planet because “it probably won’t affect us in our lifetime”. We have to worry a little bit, otherwise we will never take action to prevent bad things from happening in our lives. But I think we should only worry as much as we actually have to, and take that little bit of time we have left over, and use it to think about something happy.