This Time Next Year by Navina Anand

I usually never think about ‘This time next year’. I tend to be more of a short-term plan person rather than a long-term plan person. So, while we all hope for a reboot on our lives and hope that things would go back to normal after this COVID situation- ‘normal’ as we imagine our lives were before the pandemic, there are some things that I would hate to go back to ‘normal’. Like the insane Bangalore traffic, wearing normal clothes besides pajamas(just kidding…) but you get the drift. There are definitely some things that have improved in our lives because of this situation and it would indeed be a bummer to get back to normal.

If we are always thinking about ‘this time next year’ , are we living too much in the future and not enough in the present? Are we always dreaming about a better future and not appreciating our ‘good enough’ present? How does one achieve that fine balance between wanting to progress and staying content in the present? And… why should we progress? Aren’t we supposed to be content with what we are….. where we are… etc.? How many spiritual gurus tell us “We are enough” ?

But there is no doubt that all of us want to be BETTER next year. IN WHATEVER way we imagine. It could be routine stuff that needs to be better for all of us  like better health, or it could be BETTER in terms of a getting a better job, better car, better house…or if you are at a different mental state then, minimizing, taking a career break to evaluate options, moving to a village to give back to the community etc. I suppose the human mind is always latching on to new things to become BETTER at something.

This time next year, I sure hope to be wiser…. (Don’t we all…. haha) I hope to not have all of the same ideas, opinions, ambitions and anxieties that I had before . I hope to not be in an echo chamber and surround myself only with people who share my opinions and attitudes. I hope to have new friends who introduce me to new things.

There is also the concept of the grass being greener on the other side. People who are in poverty desire material possessions. People who are drowning in possessions want to minimize and simplify. And of course, there are a million shades in between about what people desire. But largely it tends to be more of something rather than less of something. Maybe we simply want what another person has in terms of things owned, experiences had, or social status attained. We could even want to read the number of books that somebody else has read… want to trek up the mountains that somebody else has trekked or  basically set about to check off the ubiquitious ‘bucket list’.

So we are back to square one…this time next year… where do I imagine I will be mentally? What do I imagine will be different about my life? More of the same ? Less of the same? What about you ?

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