Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Where Do You Live?


I have two friends, and recently I realized they live in very different places.  They are close in age.  Similar backgrounds.  Grew up in the same area.  But they live in very different places.  One of my friends lives in the future, and the other lives in the past.

We think a lot about where we live . . . on a map.  We live on this particular street, in this particular state, in this particular region, and that means we enjoy (or don't enjoy) this kind of weather, and we support this particular baseball team, etc.  But we spend as much time in our heads as we do in our environments.  Where we live mentally is just as important as where we live physically.

I noticed this recently with a friend of mine.  He lives very much in the past.  He still listens to the same music he did when he was sixteen.  He still talks about what he did when he was sixteen.  He relives stories about when he was sixteen.  His worldview is very much rooted in the past.  When he's driving down the street, he's remembering what used to be on that corner back when he was sixteen.  He compares everything to the way things were back when he was sixteen.  And he always seems just a little melancholy about life, because where he lives everyday is in a world where his best days were already behind him when he graduated from high school.

My other friend is always worried about tomorrow.  He's obsessed with his calendar.  Trying to have lunch with him is just about impossible--he's very busy all the time, and he's always concerned about what he has to be doing to be sure he gets to where he needs to be tomorrow.  Of course planning for retirement is a major obsession with him also, and having enough to last him until he's 82.  And of course, when he retires in the future he's going to travel and do all these things he just doesn't have time to do right now because he's so busy making sure he's successful enough and funded enough to do all those things.  He had his first ulcer at thirty.  He suffers from anxiety and is on medication for that.  He also has high blood pressure and is about forty pounds overweight (no time to exercise because he works all the time).  He's worried about his bank account when he's 82 . . . I'm concerned that he might not see 55 in eighteen months or so.  

So one friend lives in a world that no longer exists and another friend lives in a world he may never see. And I live a little in each world.  I remember the past fondly at times, and not so fondly at other times but I don't live there.  I think about tomorrow and plan for such things as retirement, but I don't live there yet.  I tend to focus on today.

That bullet journal of mine keeps track of dates and deadlines in the future so I don't have to spend a lot of time worrying about them.  Most of what I write in there and keep track of in there is what I'm doing today--which is working on things I didn't get done yesterday, things I need to do today, and working towards those project deadlines on my calendar.  I can't change yesterday, and I have no idea what tomorrow is going to be like.  What I do know is what's going on right now so that's where I tend to focus. 

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Good words to live by.  So where do you live?

~TEC

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