Essays on Technology and Culture

In the Here and Now

I’m constantly thinking about the future. Sometimes the distant future, though not in the sci-fi sense of flying cars and holodecks. I’m thinking about my future, anything from where I’ll be in 10 years to what I want to have for lunch. I think of the day that I’m making enough money from blogging that I can be independent. I think of the day the band I’ve yet to start, after learning the instrument I’ve yet to pick up, plays on TV. I think about what I’m going to be doing tomorrow, whether it will be fun, or a chore.

I also think a lot about the past—the pain, the emotional abuse of my peers, the times I’ve failed, and the times I’ve been screwed over. I don’t need to say anything else about that.

I don’t often think about the here and now. My mind is rarely in the moment, unless I’m doing something that requires concentration. Writing, for example, is one of those things where I can keep my mind in the here and now, at least for short bursts of making the clackity noise. Writing is also a good way to channel my thoughts of the past and of the future into something that belongs here and now, but that’s more of a loophole to get out of the here and now.

What’s happening now? I’m in my apartment. My girlfriend’s gone to bed. I’m a little sore from the 28 minute Couch-to–5K run I went on after work, and a little sore from assembling our new folding couch. I’m listening to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and I’m making the clackity noise. It feels good to be a little sore, and it feels good to be typing and making the clackity noise.

I’m trying to catch myself when I’m not in the here and now, but it’s not an easy process. Mindfulness takes practice, and (with the aid of Headspace) I’m trying to make sure I get that practice in, each day. It’s the only way to escape the trap of being caught up in my past, and the only way to put myself in the place to reach that future I think so much about. To tame the unruly mind that became unstuck in time long ago will take time and effort. I think I’m ready to start.