Solitary tree standing in a still lake just after sunset, the sky tinted yellow and violent.

The Horizon Is Your Baseline

Solitary tree standing in a still lake just after sunset, the sky tinted yellow and violent.
Thank you, public domain, for subbing in when I couldn’t find a photo of my own

How does one balance enjoying the moment with ensuring that you are creating something for the future? How can I enjoy cake now when I want to have six-pack abs in three months—particularly if I already had some cake and am eying another slice?

Bring the future into the present. More valuable than someday having a hot(ter) bod is making the journey into the destination. One of the things that has often struck me, is that the anticipation of tasks is almost more distasteful than the task itself. I dread looking at a sink full of dishes that need to be hand-washed, yet fall onto a groove where I pop in my earbuds and an audiobook or a podcast, and often find that I am almost regreting the end of the pile of dishes, because I’m so enjoying what I’m listening to. In fact, this has become my go-to for cleaning, instead of music: books and podcasts (mostly books, these days). Granted, this technique is more of a distraction from the task itself, but it certainly works.

Back to the six pack of the future is the fact that I almost always love the feeling of working out once I’m actually in the gym (home gym or membership). I love the feel of my body warming up, of my lungs willing with breath, of the motion, the testing of my body’s power against the force of gravity. It feels good, and what’s more, I come out of each and every working feeling powerful and experiencing a sort of emotional high from the sensation of coming down off a good workout.

I don’t know how many others do this, but I often find myself putting off things that are both good for me and which make me happy…for no good reason. It’s as though something in me is repulsed by happiness and satisfaction. Am I—or do I get—addicted to toxic habits or inactivity? Is there something that attracts us about being stationary or unhappy?

I hope to find answers to this, either through further self-exploration, or in future reading. Whatever the final answers that I find, I am grateful for the fact that I am at least attentive to it and am acting on it: I’m not “pushing through something I hate because it’s good for me.” I am instead “reminding myself that I am going to be doing something that I love.”

Like writing.

Mickey in spectacles with very messy hair with food-laden pantry shelves behind him.
I love writing, even when I “drag myself” into it

In the immortal words (word) of one of my idols:


(Thanks for everything, Stan Lee. RIP.)

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