While I sit in class, I desperately watch the second hand crawl around the edges of my watch. There are still 15 minutes left?
I refresh the bus tracker times, calculating which bus I would be able to make to get out to the school where I am volunteering. My heart races with anticipation.
I glance down at my class notes. Scrawled out in the top-right corner of the page is a grocery list I have been compiling. In the heading there are self-imposed deadlines for my upcoming class assignments, always set a couple of days earlier than the actual class deadline.
When my classmates begin packing up, I hurriedly shove my notebook of scattered thoughts into my bag and race out to the oppressively humid outdoors, frantic to make the bus due in two minutes.
Granted, I love purposefully filling my time, but there are times I catch myself in a state of always living three hours ahead; sometimes, my mind races as far as a couple days ahead of where I actually am. In my ability to constantly be prepared from everything, I prevent myself from enjoying the moment I am currently in.
This is my curse.
This is what I have been anxiously (haha, the irony) trying to change about myself so far this semester. To channel my zeal for getting things done when it’s appropriate to do so.
The best method I have for teaching myself to live more effectively “in the moment” is by carving out time for thinking about school and responsibilities, and setting aside blocks of time to just be, unhindered by any work.
Obviously, I love to write. So, after I have had a long day of classes, I set aside a two-hour break to simply read a good book (I am currently reading through “Anna Karenina”) and journal all of my thoughts, write poetry, or put down some fancy prose.
This has helped me to use my time for work more effectively. Limiting my own range of thought to certain hours of the day has helped me to remain not only sane, but more focused and at peace in the individual moments that I am in.
Ultimately, I think it is OK to be busy. It is good to fill your time doing the things that you enjoy. However, strive to be busy gracefully. Remind yourself constantly that you do have time to do something just for fun. Remind yourself always why you are doing these things. If you can’t find a reason of why you’re doing it, cut it out.
Take it from me, it will get done. You are doing amazing. Now take some time to walk outside and breathe in the fresh fall air. The present is a beautiful time and deserves to be enjoyed.
Abigail Floresca is a junior majoring in criminology, law and justice with a minor in professional writing. Writing is how she connects, processes, expresses and relates to the rest of the world. Increasingly aware of the power of storytelling in bringing about change and reform, Abigail earnestly seeks to find a way to incorporate a perfect blend of writing and social work within the criminal justice system — she dreams of bringing about a positive change, one story at a time. At UIC, she is involved in campus ministry; conducts research with the criminology, law and justice department; interns with the Chicago Justice Project, and loves exploring new places downtown.