The Fine Line Between Planning for the Future and Living There

*If you’re a dog lover, please take a sec and check out the piece I just wrote for The Huffington Post on fostering pups. Thanks, guys!*

I’ve been talking a lot about my move to Charlotte lately, both on this blog and with friends and family members. While I’m excited to see a new place, I’ve realized that for the past few weeks I haven’t been living in the moment at all. I’ve spent so much time talking about Charlotte, getting ready for Charlotte, and researching Charlotte, that I’ve been forgetting to enjoy my last few weeks in Syracuse.

It’s a tricky thing, because any major life change requires some attention in advance. I couldn’t just pick up and move to Charlotte without researching a place to live, packing, etc. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that every conversation I have from now until when I move needs to revolve around that move. It’s important to prepare for any serious adjustments in life–whether it’s moving, planning a wedding/getting married, or going back to school– but you also shouldn’t let these things consume your life. These changes are stressful, and focusing all your attention on them without enjoying what’s going on now only worsens the stress levels.

When you’re just waiting for the date when the change happens like I am, there’s not really much you can do. You won’t know what that new situation is going to look like until you get there, so there’s no point in obsessing and stressing ahead of time. You just have to be patient and wait for it to unfold on its own. That’s why it’s helpful to do the necessary planning, but not obsess. You’ll only feel frustrated that you don’t know what to expect and that you can’t fast forward until the day when the change arrives.

Because I’ve been talking about Charlotte so much, I’ve started to feel like I have nothing exciting going on now. It’s all in the future. In reality, that’s not true at all. I just need to shift the focus a bit from the future back to the present moment. This means talking about Charlotte (it’s a big part of my life/my thoughts right now) but also focusing on things that are going on in the here and now.

How do you navigate the weeks or months before a major life change?

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