There I was, driving up I-75 like Cruella De Vil.
Smoothie in the cupholder, devouring a mobile lunch. I needed to make it back for a 1:30 pm meeting, and it was already after 12 noon.
Given interstate traffic, this really could go either way.
The internal pressure was intense. I willed my body to fly in front of the car and pull so I could make it on time.
My legs were tense.
My arms and back hunched forward.
Nothing I did made me move fast enough (because speed limits are real and obviously exist for good reason).
Sitting here writing to you, I feel the effects of the pressure I put on myself.
I'm tense, sore, and tired.
After all of it, I made it. In fact, I arrived a few minutes before the wonderful human I was meeting and sat in the car to catch my breath.
Believing that I should to be somewhere other than where I actually was in my journey, dropped a load of rocks on my chest.
Letting my brain jump ahead of the present moment made me feel like I needed to brace for battle, run away from the present moment, and place all of my attention on getting to the next thing.
The journey to my destination happened one mile marker at a time. One dashed line. One traffic light. One moment of pushing the gas pedal and directing the steering wheel followed by the next.
Wishing the journey would go faster didn’t actually make it go by more quickly.
But it did drain my energy and distract me from the moments that add up to create the journey.
I tend to do the same thing when it comes to personal and professional challenges.
If there’s a difficult conversation on the horizon, I'm tempted to prepare by fast-forwarding through the present moment to map out everything I’m going to say in retort when the conversation actually happens.
If there’s writing that needs to be done, I try to mentally fly through the process (of typing one letter at a time) to envisioning how and where the book is going to sell, and what people are going to think about it.
When I attempt to fast-forward through the present moment, I sacrifice the opportunity to connect:
With the moment.
With my surroundings.
With the humans around me.
Playing Cruella can be entertaining to watch (well done Glenn Close), but fairly exhausting to live.
Because by trying so hard to get to the next thing we miss out on:
The curves we’re learning to navigate.
The everyday choices we’re making.
The strength we’re building by persevering.
The tiny discoveries that add up to the moments that create the life we’re choosing.
Living in fast-forward drains us of the energy we need to show up in our lives right now.
So the next time we find ourselves in a "Cruella-moment" thinking:
I should know how to do this by now…
I should know how to talk about this by now…
I should know how to navigate this by now…
I should know what they’re thinking by now…
Let’s gently breathe deep, and remember that this present moment is an irreplaceable piece of the bridge that carries us to whatever’s next.