There are so many things these days to keep us on track for what’s next: to do lists, calendars, phone reminders, schedules, planners, you name it. Sometimes, though, I find they keep me more in the present than looking ahead. I don’t mean the next hour, day or even week; I mean the longer term – the month, year, or years into my future. I’ve found, I need to stop everything and take stock of where I am and whether what I’m doing is helping me to progress towards my goals. There are times when I’m fine, just chugging along on the track I’ve planned for myself like The Little Engine That Could. Other times, I realize that I missed my connection somewhere and I’ve gone sideways, or worse, backward; I have to right myself to get to where I want to go. It’s important to stop for a peek at your position every once in a while.
One thing I’ve learned at occupational therapy this year is to reassess my position and keep my eyes on something continually. It helps to keep me steady. It’s a good practice for life in general. If I forget where I’m going, I have to backtrack or look at my notebook where I’ve written down the directions. If I get overwhelmed with too many options, I have to stop where I am, breathe deeply, cover my eyes, let them rest a moment, and then find a spot to focus on to continue. If I’m working blind, standing on one foot or walking with my eyes closed and lose my balance, I sometimes have to take a peek to recover my balance again.
So next time you are feeling caught in the rut of doing the same thing every day or just going through the motions instead of purposefully following a path you’ve laid out, stop a moment and take a peek. Take a peek into your distant future and decide whether what you wanted when you started is still what you want now. Look to see if you are taking the steps you need to move you closer to the future you desire. Take a peek back to smile at how far you’ve come. And, take a moment to enjoy the moment.