25 July 2011

Don't Stop Living Your Life

It's tempting to live in an imagined future, to make the present more bearable. We think about one or two major goals or circumstances in our life, and how things will be different if they'd only turn out like we want. We put all our energy into visualising what life will be like when some external factor changes, instead of putting the focus on developing ourselves where we are right now.

- When I lose weight I'll go on holiday
- When I meet someone I'll go to concerts and plays
- I just have to endure this day job, because my writing will make money one day
- When the kids are a bit older I'll get back into my hobbies

This is a dangerous way to live. I know that full well, because I've realised that dreaming about how  life could be is like a drug. Slipping into a fantasy world where one or more of your dreams come true is like a heady tonic for every day life. On the positive side, it can make us work for our goals - we go on a diet, we go to clubs in the hope of meeting someone, or we push ourselves through revisions of our WIP. Sometimes our dreams may come true... and sometimes they won't. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason. In the meantime, we may be ignoring the life we actually have. Maybe we're trying so hard to have a child, that we forget to tend to the relationship we have with our partner and our family members. Perhaps we're ignoring our passions while we hunt for a mate or raise our children. Or maybe we don't put energy into developing (and even trying to enjoy) our career because we just think of it as a "day job".

The light bulb moment for me is that there needs to be a balance. Yes we need goals, but we also need to focus on what we have right now. As a writer I naturally prefer to dwell in imaginary worlds. But I need to put just as much effort into nurturing my present life. Imaginary chickens may never hatch, so I need to sow the seeds I have right in my hand.


  1. Great last line there, Charlotte! Inspiring!

    Nice post.

  2. Totally agree. Balance is so important. As is living our lives.

  3. Thanks for the reminder Charlotte! I get so easily sucked into the temptation of thinking that 'someday' all my dreams will come true and that is the day I will be blissfully happy. When really I should just enjoy what I have in this moment and not worry so much =)