I read a truly brilliant comment on reddit on Saturday.
I consider reddit a vice, unhealthy on a regular basis, best avoided, but with a lure that makes it ever so appealing on a slow Saturday evening. It’s not the worst vice in the world, pretty far from it, really, but I do try to stay away. 99% of the time on reddit, I leave feeling the same kind of vague nausea that eating too much junk food creates. Like I should rethink my life choices if I’m wasting my time that way. But 1% of the time, I read something truly inspiring. On Saturday, it was this comment on Non-Zero Days.
You should go read it, really. I cannot do justice to its splendor. Partially because I couldn’t bring myself to use capital letters like he did or swear like he did, but also because the flavor of the comment is perfect for the advice within the comment.
My favorite part of the advice, though, is Rule 2: Be grateful to the 3 yous. Ever since I read it, I’ve been thinking about Future Me and how to be nice to her and it’s such a lovely way of providing perspective in my days. Some of it is obvious: that cookie that looks so appealing? Future Me would be so grateful to Past Me for not eating any gluten today. Some of it is a little less obvious: Future Me will definitely appreciate it if Present Me unloads the dishwasher before I start piling dishes in the sink, instead of only after I have a pile of them. And then there’s the big picture stuff: how grateful to Present Me will Future Me be if I actually get better about flossing my teeth? Huh, probably pretty grateful, especially given what a minimal effort flossing really is.
But I’m also trying to take care of Present Me. I got reminded of the second half of the serenity prayer recently, which begins, “Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;”. It’s so easy for me to get lost in worry about the future, so natural for me to spend my time wandering in mental circles of anxiety. But stopping, taking a breath, sitting on the lanai and admiring the bamboo… it feels so much better. And worrying about the future doesn’t actually help Future Me. Yes, I need to take care of her, but I don’t need to try to live her life. I’ll get there when I get there.
My backyard neighbor has lined the entire back of the fence with bamboo. It’s really tall, at least fifteen feet, maybe even taller and so beautiful. One stalk has managed to spring up on my side of the fence and it’s leaning precariously. But it sways in the wind and light filters through the leaves, and the colors are so perfect, yellows and deep greens. I think Future Me will probably have to chop down the stalk at some point, but Present Me thinks it’s lovely. This picture doesn’t do it justice, because I don’t know how to take a picture of light with my phone, but I’m posting it anyway to remind myself.
So this is what I’m trying to do this week: Be grateful to Past Me for her good choices, forgive her for her less good choices; take care of Present Me and live in her time; and do nice things for Future Me. Fortunately, Future Me would really, really, really like it if I could finish this book and move on to writing A Precarious Balance, so I’m hoping for lots of good writing. Happy Monday!