Why does it seem like our energy is spent focused on beginnings and not so much on endings?
Is it because the start of something new is fresh and exciting? Is it because beginnings hold mystery, and the unknown heightens their excitement? Maybe. Let’s explore a couple of scenarios where the ending gets snubbed.
Over the summer, we went to a part of the Jersey shore that we’ve never been to before. Once we exited the parkway, my eyes widened in hopes to get a glimpse of something new. I was living in that moment, paying close attention to help navigate to our destination.
When we arrived at the motel, we were directed to park right outside the front door so that a bellhop could help us with our luggage. Upon check in, the receptionist explained the details of the motel and what to expect during our trip, ensuring we knew she was there to help us with anything we need.
When our getaway was over and we were ready to go home, there was not a bellhop in sight to ensure our departure was easy. We lugged our baggage to the car and drove off.
On the way home, our conversations reflected on the trip. How much fun we had, what we’d do again, and what we’d do differently the next time. My thoughts bounced to things like what I needed to do to get ready for the upcoming week. Before I knew it, we were home.
In contrast to the drive there, the drive home was over in a flash. The time spent on the way home was lost, I can’t remember anything specific about it. Obviously, this was just my perception and both drives took roughly the same amount of time.
Hosting a Party:
Everyone has their own party hosting process. Prior to a party I put my attention and effort into fully cleaning the house, ensuring the menu and activities are planned, and making sure the lists I’ve created are checked off. Tensions are high just before the party starts, practically holding my breath, taking care to keep everything neat and clean while waiting for the first guest to arrive. When the first guest does finally arrive, I breathe a sigh of relief because we managed to keep the house looking good and smelling fresh. It almost doesn’t even matter what happens next, as long as things were kept together until the first guest arrived.
It could take me days to clean up after the party is over. I don’t have a strategy for cleaning up and putting everything back in its place. After the party I unwind and let it all go. Things get done when they need to get done, but right after the party I collapse.
Do you see what I mean? Focus, energy, excitement, fear, all go into the beginning of a situation. Even the beginning of life itself seems to go more slowly. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “life goes by faster as you get older”.
When we’re younger we soak in the moments. Remember when you were a kid? Everything was a wonder. I spent hours petting my dog. Just sitting next to the side yard glass door next to my dog for hours just watching the yard. Then I’d go outside and lay in the green grass, look up at the trees, and watch the clouds go by.
As we get older, we have more going on in our lives and don’t focus on things like we did when we were younger. We have more to reflect on and reminisce about. Our minds are going a mile a minute and we don’t have time to live in the moment and pay attention to every last detail around us. We’re just too busy. We need to try to slow down. No wonder mindfulness is a big business these days.
There needs to be a time to wonder, be excited, fear the unknown, focus, be attentive, soak in all the moments of life, and live in the moment.
But unwinding, dreaming, getting lost in your thoughts, reflecting, and reminiscing are also necessary.
We just need balance.
Tell me this: Where is your focus?