Janelle Brown: What Tense Are You?
01/02/2013Janelle Brown of Sister Wives is Kody's second wife. Follow along on her journey forward to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
I have come to a realization, I am very much a person who thinks in future tense. I am constantly focused on what is coming next. I am always planning the next step, examining possibilities, putting together contingencies and exit plans from my current location in space and time. Other people I know are past tense people – they are stuck living in a world framed by past victories and past hurts. But a few people in my acquaintance are the lucky ones; people who think, and live, in the present.
Very few adults are naturally that way. These lucky ones have re-trained themselves to live this way. I am convinced that we are born living in present tense. Infants and young children live in the here and now. Hurts and disappointments are let go quickly, joys are fully experienced and the magic of the moment is expected. As we age we quickly learn or are taught to be planners, to think in a future tense. While these skills serve a purpose, we risk missing our own lives, and our own potential, if we are not careful.
I had the idea of these “tenses” introduced to me a few years ago but it didn’t really become real to me until a few weeks ago as I stood in my garage, of all of the strange places for a life altering event. I was caught up in the normal rat race of making sure we had the “perfect” holiday. I reviewed the packages to make sure presents for children were equalized and wrapped. Simultaneously, I was mentally reviewing what still needed to be done for our traditional meals. It dawned on me that I wasn’t really having a good time. I stood still, took a deep breath, and really lived in the moment of the holiday happening around me. I felt the butterflies of excitement in my stomach and the joy bubbling up. It takes a lot for a logical person like me to write those words but it is the only way to express what I felt.
I have been recently contemplating making meditation a regular part of my daily routine. I have dabbled with the practice on and off for several years. I am a prayerful person, but mediation is something different. I finally understand that, for me, meditation is about taking time to get my focus into the here and now, to be open and aware of what is happening around me. So my only real resolution for 2013 is to live in the present tense more often. To be aware of time with my children as they grow up so fast around me. To be aware of what I am eating and how I am treating my body. To let go of past hurts, failures or temporary definitions of what I could and could not do and to be open to the inspiration that may come with being aware. I resolve to spend more time in the present tense. I think it could be revolutionary.