Saturday, 2 January 2016

The In-Betweeners

What happiness… “Today marks the beginning of an awesome, exciting year ahead”, my love said on the first day of 2016. Indeed it does. My current happiness is a tribute to to the fact that change is possible. A tribute that says: if one is miserable, one can change their current state… with just a few, seemingly-impossible, incredibly challenging decisions, of course.

 But they are life changing – and isn’t that the point? Was it just four years ago that I was newly separated from an unhealthy marriage, ridden with ulcer-forming anxiety, torn on a soul-deep level, entirely unsure of what my future held and what happiness looked like?

It all seems light years away, as if from a different universe, a different life, a different person altogether.

Here I am, at the dawn of 2016, writing down my hopes and dreams (not resolutions – those are silly) for my life for the next twelve months. It will be my first year living in another country. It will be my first year working somewhere other than the hospital that has more or less borne and raised me for the last 6+ years. It will be the first year in which I publish a book (but certainly not the last).

It will be my third year, however, practicing presence. I have been practicing this most recently with the mantra, “Find happiness in the the in-between moments”. That is, I have been practicing finding beauty and joy in waiting for a train, in walking down the street between destinations, and in those slow, yet brief, breaths taken at the end of one task before the beginning of another.

We think – and read – a lot about being present in every circumstance. We forget, however, about the moments between circumstances, waving them away in our minds as being of no consequence. Think about how much time we waste in these moments, usually looking down at our phones instead of looking up and around at the beauty that surrounds us.

When you finish reading this, and before you move on to the next thing on your agenda, just breathe and think about the happiness that can be found in this moment, right now. Happy New Year.