Pre-living

Preliving
"The Plan Says rarely qualifies as a good excuse."

I've spent most of my working life so far anticipating futures. I advanced in my career to the point where I was sought after as a teacher of the dark art of projecting useful shadows on far walls. I eventually realized that I paid for every moment I spent planning for any future by forfeiting my present; my presence. I became an acknowledged expert at pre-living life, but remained a rather rank amateur at actually living it.

I believe that I understand that no existence could hope to be complete without balancing some mix of presence and absence, whether that absence be spent in review or anticipation. Obsessing over the past seems somehow equivalent to obsessing about any future,
though I sense no harm in basking in memories or focusing upon some possible futures if both are indulged in moderation. In my more than a third of a century of planning, I never once watched a plan turn out as anticipated, though I acknowledge the benefits even over-planning provided. My challenge always came when trying to see through the plan, often borne from past "lessons learned", to recognize the perfectly acceptable, often much better, present presenting itself for consideration.

Pre-living instills a curious kind of knowledge, the knowledge of what has not yet happened. It seems to quite easily over-ride sensory experience, encouraging what makes no sense at all to anyone not equally entranced. Those unfamiliar with the plan, those not in the room when the grand delusion hatched, will likely identify the folly in it much more quickly than those who painstakingly partitioned their perspective producing it. Of course, those not enlisted in the initiative hold little influence over those who have invested what seems like their life savings in it. Those proficient in pre-living become increasingly hard of hearing, and appear awfully hard of heart, too. The Plan Says rarely qualifies as a good excuse.

I aspire to glimpse the present, not wallow in it, like I aspire to glimpse futures and pasts without forwarding my incoming mail there. I balance on a thin edge between stupidly stumbling forward and standing within some notional next world beaconing myself onward. I remain largely clueless either way, though, it seems, less resilient when I invest too heavily in what I imagine might happen next, regardless of the trumped up convictions I might hold. My sight streams backward, forward, and here, fleeting though each might seem. I try to make meaning of everything streaming around me, more successfully, it seems, when I'm not off pre-living my next experience rather than being here now.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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