It seems to me that too much of life is spent anticipating life.
This is a symptom noticed by me simply because I see it in me. I see a hunger for “tomorrow, tomorrow” or, a fear of “tomorrow” or “next year” or even “next week”. I notice that I even use this anticipatory mindset for the next minutes or hours such as receiving replys to emails, letters, and text messages; especially since a lot of my social communication is cut off. Facebook was a big anticipatory game for me, and that is why I emptied my pockets of it. I even do the anticipatory game with food, when I sit here and study on the couch or on the floor for hours at a time, I anticipate my breaks when I’ll be able to have a creative snack. But it seems, that when these things arrive, their isn’t the satisfaction I promised myself I’d find in them. The emails aren’t too exciting, the letters were short, the text message was a LOL, and the food on my tongue was short lived.
What We Do Tomorrow
Diets, Bible reading, exercise, letter writing, bills to pay, phone calls to return, apologies to make, assignments to be turned in, job applications to fill out, resumes to be written, books to be read, friends to visit, oil to change, lawn to be mowed, garden to be weeded, house to be cleaned, rest to be taken; all tomorrow. All later. All soon and very soon. We will get to them eventually, won’t we? Maybe tomorrow. Then there are the big “tomorrows” or “next year”s. Career choices to be chosen, houses to buy, someone to marry, a community to live in, a mission field to serve in, a doctor to visit for this or that, whether to go to Bible school, whether to go back to college, whether to break-up or start-again, give money away or not, go on vacation, adopt a child. So many choices to make later.
But what does this fever stem from? Laziness? Perhaps. But then again, laziness may well be a symptom as well.
Malaise is a new term I see come up a lot in the midwife books as a feeling a pregnant woman may often have when she’s got an infection, a disease, or is experiencing a complication – or just plain morning sickness. Malaise means simply; a general feeling of discomfort, illness or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify. Malaise is a symptom in all circumstances – never a disease in itself. But here again, I see that malaise is a symptom a display often – a general feeling of discomfort when I’m anticipating something new coming. I see thousands upon thousands revealing that symptom in their lives! Just like me sometimes. Actually, lots of times. We walk around tired and just not feeling “peachy” and we hope, with no true change today, that tomorrow will be better – which is insanity – doing the same thing over and over and over, hoping to get a different result.
Why Do We Do This?
No purpose. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. – Proverbs 29:18 – Now, I hate to use one verse to clarify my point, let it be known that in this same text, there is advice to raise your servants from children to follow the right way, and then later, the servant will become your son. In this light, I see that good practices with the end result in mind works. You are taught how to behave and live happily, and then you will enjoy the day. But, how do we keep from focusing on the end result and yet enjoy today and right now – sitting on the couch studying if not by anticipating what’s next?
Maybe I’m Wrong
But I’m wondering, if maybe we plan well, yes, anticipating the future, taking the time to write out or think out the next step – no matter how small it is, as long as it is something we are thinking of it counts. So, we write out a plan like a To-Do list for some house projects, a 1 week schedule, a 6-month program or a five year plan, writing each individual detail on each day or month or whatever; maybe, if we just decide what we want now, what we are expecting, maybe we can get it. I think that works. I see it work in many circumstances in medicine. You write out a care-plan and next to each managing act, you write why you’re doing it, when you have a plan and stick with it, you can get your end result.
Maybe that’s too simple. I’m not really sure if I just did a complete cycle right back to where I began. Does that make sense? It seems to help clear my mind a bit. I’m going to bed…now I can rest.