I was looking forward to November 3rd because, frankly, I’m so damn tired. My attention has been manipulated extremely easily, and, as a result, is often scattered. Sound familiar?
It’s not the election for me. It’s more about some sort of symbolism clashing against my I’m-way-to-old-to-be-like-this idealism.
My life’s mission isn’t technically to supplements, but to call out misinformation. It just so happens I’m a pharmacist and supplement nerd.
To see the impact of misinformation on American life, how it is affecting so many, and being relatively powerless against the human preference towards, well, crazy sh*t, drains me spiritually and physically.
November 3rd, I told myself, I could get back to some new normal and push ahead clearer.
It’s November 4th, and I feel worse.
The election probably will swing towards an outcome I can live with, and it’s important to know the election result isn’t the point of this conversation.
How much energy did I commit to this attachment to a made-up endpoint? How many moments of my life did I miss, distracted by it? How many opportunities did I not move ahead with because “I just can’t right now.”
We’re constantly doing to ourselves what I’ve done intensely to myself for the last week (at least):
- “I’ll be happy when…”
- “I’ll get started when…”
- “If only I had [thing], then I could…”
We’re so very focused on a future that hasn’t come. Focused on the outcome of things we really can’t control (which is practically everything). We focus on times that already happened and objectively weren’t experienced as we remember.
It’s time to let go.
This is different advice from “don’t worry.” The advice “calm down” has never calmed anyone down in the history of “calm down.”
I’m not saying don’t plan for the future, but I’m saying our planning sucks.
Let’s look at how we plan stuff out in our heads using the latest neuroscience: “First I’ll do this, then if this happens I’ll do this or I could do this, and then I’ll do this.”
That’s how our brains do it and that’s fine for a majority of situations.
When we build out our mental game plan, what seems like a temporary stop or decision point in our path are actually toll booths. And we’re all outta dimes.
One could argue that mental black holes are a more apropos description.
And we double down on this mentally. “This is my plan, I’m sticking to it!” (despite it sapping all of my attention and energy!).
I mean, even as I write this, my attention wanders for a moment, and oops I’m on Facebook and FiveThirtyEight…
What I’m saying—probably more to myself than to you—is the external, uncontrollable event that stands in your way isn’t real. It’s not even there. It’s a construct that feels like a massive, physical obstruction, but
is as real as the notion we are a democracy isn’t really there.
Let me guess a few of your roadblocks posing as temporary stops:
- “When COVID’s over, I’ll get back on track with my diet”
- “Once Biden wins, I’ll take a day off and then really launch because I’ll be less distracted”
- “If I just had some more money in the bank, I could be happier”
- “Once this election is over, I can stop spending so much time on social media”
Those things aren’t coming. Well, probably. So, do you attach to them still and feel worse because your plans are halted AND those things didn’t happen?
Or do we begin again?
So, deep breath everyone.
Four seconds in. Hold for 2 seconds. Out for 6 seconds. Do that 5-10 times.
It’s time to get started.
Rewrite your “crappy” plan into one that isn’t dependent upon an emotion or state of mind as a stop-gate.
It’s time. Right friggin’ now.
And since this is really about me feeling better and I feed on your compliments, I want to be a part of your wellness plan.
Just trying to keep it real…
Neal Smoller, PharmD
Owner, Pharmacist, Big Mouth