+ BY MADISEN KUHN + BANNER BY LAURA SUPNIK ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN KATE POTTER
Plan to be Present.
“there are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. one is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” — dalai lama I love writing lists and schedules. Sometimes I plan my entire day hour by hour the night before. Wake up at eight. Stretch at eight-ten. Walk the dog at eight-fifteen. Eat breakfast at eightthirty. You get it. I’m naturally a very impulsive person. I’m in my head a lot of the time. Planning makes me feel like I’m in control. The future always feels full of hope and possibility. Blank and open, a white sheet of paper ready for me to fold it any way I like. But the present often feels like an overcast afternoon, where you sit by the window and daydream about all that you’ll do when the sun comes back out.
It’s always easier to plan than to act. Planning is just fanaticizing. It’s a great way to discover your priorities and to realign your focus, get in the right headspace, but it means nothing if you close your agenda and let it collect dust on your desk. You have to mean it. I made a list of things I wanted to do in the new year. Read more books, travel more, drink more water, do more yoga. It felt good to compile that list. So far I’ve read two books. I’ve not practiced yoga. I’m still dehydrated. I’ve booked one Airbnb. And as we approached February, I’m discovering that I want my real resolution to be to focus more on the now. As a Pisces, I’m always longing for a dreamier reality. Forever imagining what could be. And while this is an excellent way to escape for a bit—creating Pinterest boards of my perfect home and writing poems about the possibility of someone new—it isn’t conducive to embracing the now. Days will go by, and I will have done nothing but muse about the unknown. I notice the sun has set and I’m still in my pajamas, left with an empty feeling.