Often we are so mesmerized by long term goals, by what is presently unavailable, by the past, by what is out of reach, that we fail to notice or act on things within our reach right now.
Each day is like a stream flowing from awakening to bedtime. If we’re not fully awake and engaged, the stream can flow by before we even notice. This may be what’s happening to older people who say, “The years just fly by.” Every day stream has tiny windows of opportunity — the chance for a few seconds of pleasant conversation with a store clerk, that fifteen minute chunk of time before you have to get to the next appointment, that listless half hour in the evening which you could fritter away channel or web surfing, or spend soulfully calling a friend you haven’t conversed with in a year, or writing in your journal. Coming down the day stream are the endless flotsam and jetsam of potential distractions, but amidst the debris are some things of great value if we are able to reach for them in time. Sometimes we are so caught up in what is lacking in our life that we fail to notice things within our reach during this day stream — to grasp them we have to be alert, and our timing needs to be just right.
Most days there are some key high value things I’m trying to reach for — the morning writing session, ninety minutes for exercise, high quality relationship time, time for high quality reading and/or watching of movies or documentaries. On a day off I can get all four of these in. But on working days I might be able to get only three out of the four. On a particularly busy day maybe only two out of four. As you approach your day stream know what your three or four high value things are. You know that the scheduled stuff like work is going to happen, and you know that opportunities for distraction will be flowing all around you, but if you time things just right, maybe you can get in three of the four instead of two of the four.
Consider this a propitious time to focus on your day stream with alert engagement and catch what’s in reach.
Some simple, grounded strategies to get more out of your day stream: