Sunday, 25 May 2014

Living five minutes into the future

For a while now, I've been aware that I'm travelling in time. Well, partially.

My mind is separated into two distinct parts. One is living in the now, reacting and observing events as they happen, and the other part is thinking about what is to come in the next five minutes, five days, five weeks, months, years. I have to force myself to be fully aware of everything around me.

This thought process has been exacerbated by my writing. I'm always looking towards the next project, or the next (small) marketing attempt or offer. I plan novels that are years down the line, before I've even finished the one I'm working on at the moment. I know that this is bad practice for someone who wants to be a writer, but that doesn't make it any easier to stop, it just gives me a feeling of hollow guilt when another hour of free time fizzes past with no progress made. I constantly feel as if I'm starting out, rather than realising that I have two years of focussed writing and indie publishing experience (though not hugely successful). This feeling gives me energy, but it's a dissonant energy, shredded with nerves.

This sense of future nervousness affects my home life too. I think about the future of my daughters, and how our relationship will be when they are older. Will they respect me? Will they be happy? Will they want me around? I hope so. This wondering can also lead me to forget that right now, at the ages of four and two, they do want me around. I know I need to appreciate that fact more, lock out all other thoughts, and simply play.

It's easier said than done. Isolation is hard to achieve now. For many of us, events can be made known moments after happening. We are constantly aware of others' lives through social networking, so much so that it makes us less aware of our own.
I long for the days before I had a mobile phone, when I could go for a walk and not be found. I know I could go for a walk now, and leave my phone off, or at home, but there would always be a tiny part of my mind thinking about it. There was a purity of thought before I had the option. As much as I love writing, I'd give it all up to live in a remote cottage, and get some farming done. Seriously.

And there we go again, living in the future, or possible future, rather than the now. See how easy it is to slip?

This isn't a pontification about how technology is a plague. After all, this is a blog! It's more of a lesson for myself. If writing this helps me to give a few more moments of focus to my wife and children, then it's worth it. And don't worry, they're not here. I'm writing this on the train to work, and thinking of them.

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