I Want a “Future” Anchor

imagesI realized this week that want an anchor in the future.

“Want” as in need. And also as in lack.

What I want is a date set out there somewhere in the next week or weeks on my calendar. A date indicating something I’m to do in a place where I’ll be. At a meeting or an appointment, at a lunch or a dinner.

Some event, some time, some place that is concrete showing me how my time will be spent.

Without that, I feel unmoored, untethered.

I realized that if I’m not looking forward to something, I get anxious.

Because I’m supposed to be doing something specifically productive.

Right?

Because if I don’t have a plan, some specific action to be pursuing . . . SOON . . . then what’s my reason for being?

I’ve been struggling with this feeling for quite a while now.

When I was teaching high school, my schedule was very predictable. I got so used to that predictability and structure that I thought those rigid ways of measuring time were “normal.”

And when I quit teaching (as well as during the summers while I was teaching), I loved the flexibility I had.

Those open days felt magical.

I could do just about anything I wanted to do! How liberating!

I enjoyed that for a while. And then my ingrained need for structure kicked in.

I started feeling anxious if I didn’t have some scheduled time, something beyond my weekly centering prayer group or tai ji class.

What’s that about??

How can open-ended time be a bad thing, something that causes me to worry, to be anxious?

Even though I truly believe that the only time I have is NOW, I don’t yet live in that belief.

I realize that I use my calendar to anchor me to a sense of time, of future, of assurance that I am existing right now.

I use some anticipated future event as an anchor so that I don’t feel I’m floating untethered in the NOW.

So just how can I get comfortable with the sense of only Nowness?

No binding to the past, no mooring to the future?

Just NOW.

Only NOW.

Joyful NOW.

Sheer freedom NOW to choose my direction, my path.

Why does that make me anxious – and not exhilarated?

I’m not sure.

But I’m curious. I want to explore this feeling. I am exploring this feeling, this anxiety created by no set future (as if ANY future is set!).

And I want to see if I can change, if I can become comfortable with being unmoored, unanchored

With a future as wide open as the sky

Sky above the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountain National Park (from Sprague Lake)

Sky above the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountain National Park (from Sprague Lake)

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