Goodness, today’s prompt is a little scary. Maybe not scary in terms of what the prompt is, but in the reality and truth of the answers it is a little terrifying to me. In no particular order, here are seven things that I think about on a near-daily basis.
- Time, and the lack thereof, is always a concern for someone ensconced in Western culture. The need and drive to be the most efficient with time and money is something that I have inherited from the culture that I am surrounded with. I greatly wish that I could just disregard time and how fast I need to do things. Creeping deadlines and ticking clocks have a way of dictating to me what I’m doing and how well I’m doing it. That is not a pleasant feeling, but one of the best things in the world is when I allow myself to break free from the contraints of time and purposefully do things in the least efficient way, purely for the pleasure and experience. If you haven’t taken the scenic route before, I highly recommend it.
- The inevitability of death is not something that most people think about. If you’re familiar with Dan Howell’s work, then you know where this is going, at least in part. Existential crises that involve facing the insignificant role that we perform in the ongoing play of the universe generally involve facing down the fact that our lives will end one day, as will the lives of everyone we know and love. And yes, this is something that crosses my mind pretty regularly (although I don’t demonstrate my thoughts as spectacularly as Dan). Unlike Dan, I have hope and a belief about the meaning of the universe and life, so existential crises tend to add to my understanding and perception of the present, rather than dooming myself about the future, although the thought of death is still slightly unsettling.
- For a change of pace, those of you who read my post about my furry friend know about my cat, Janie. Being responsible for another living thing means that I have to think about her on a daily basis, and, if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t deserve having a pet. Her dependence on me and my actions means that sometimes I have to put her needs above my own, and that is a very good feeling.
- Love is another subject that I contemplate on a daily basis. Not just romantic love (although I will admit that Ghostwheel does cross my mind on a daily basis), but also the love between family members, the love between friends. Love is not a mere emotion in any of these situations, but it is an active choice. For me, I think about how my decisions show my love to those around me.
- The level of involvement I have with my faith is also something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I will admit that in recent years I haven’t done much to grow my faith or even routinely stretch it. It always seems as if other things in life keep getting in the way, but, now that I’m out of school ,I’ve been able to focus on this area a bit more and have been thinking of ways (and following through on some of them) that I can continue on my faith walk (which is Christian-speech for growing in my understanding of God, faith, and religion). Ghostwheel is not a Christian, which many Christians, undoubtedly, would tell me is a factor of my dull faith, but the truth is, since being with him I have become more devout and practiced in my options for growing in faith. More on this at a later time, I’m sure.
- Speaking of a later time, the future is always present in my thoughts. What are my plans for tomorrow? Do I have everything prepared for work today? What will happen if my parents get hospitalized? Where is my career going? What will happen if I die tomorrow? Do I have appropriate work goals? Are my relationships for the long-term? Questions like these and more always bounce around in my mind. It’s impossible, I think, for humans to be active in this world and not think about the future.
- And to go along with my last thought, the past is ever-present. I’m not just referring to my flashbacks, although they certainly are part of it. I’m a historian. I have a hard time getting involved with anything without adding in historical context or having my thoughts loop back to a different historical point. For example: in the sermon I heard in church today the pastor said something about how no one is born into our religion, nor can anyone rely on the faith of someone else; we can’t pass our faith on to others, as much as we might like to. In connection to that, the pastor said that we can’t pass a faith on to the next generation if that generation doesn’t want it. What was the caveat I wrote in my notes? “Reminds me of how people take away the lessons they want to learn from history,” referring, of course, to how our perception of history and the past changes depending on what we are looking for (or want to see). So there, you can see that the past really is never very far from my thoughts.
There you go. Seven things that I think of on a near-daily basis. Not necessarily the brightest thoughts in the world, I’ll grant you, but certainly not the most negative, something that I’m proud of because it shows progress in my own personal thought journey.