Attention Is A Precious Resource

Studying for my CC midterm last semester

I stayed up til 5 am last night to finish work that I hadn't had time to do during the previous two days.  Between taking some much needed time for myself Monday, going to a pre-opening reception at Dig Inn for dinner last night, and Sabor auditions until midnight yesterday, the wee hours of the morning were my only chance to get homework done.  So I put my laundry in to keep myself awake, drank a red bull, and got to work.

But the problem is, I didn't get a whole lot of work done.  I woke up two and a half hours later still behind on work, sleep deprived, and with a Bwog post due at 11.  I opened up a document with my face as close to the computer as possible because, let's face it, 7:30 am is far too early to even consider putting contacts in.  Then I knowingly skipped class as I went back to sleep.  I skipped econ, the class that is my greatest current struggle.  And we had a pop quiz this morning.  I've been upset with myself all day for that.

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But this isn't just about giving me space to complain.  Yes, I had a rough start to my day and I regret all the decisions I made leading up to it.  But it wasn't just staying up late that set me off.  And it wasn't the fact that I chose a restaurant opening and dance auditions over doing work (although that certainly didn't help on the homework front).

What really was the catalyst for my dreadful morning was the fact that I could not live in the moment.  I focused so hard on needing to not only get work done for today, but also worried about catching up on what I had already missed, and planning ahead for what I needed to do this weekend.  I shouldn't be worrying about these things.  I shouldn't spend my time reading my CC books worrying over whether or not I'll have time to read the econ chapter or thinking about what I'll write in my Swahili essay.

Attention is a precious resource.  No matter if you're in school or in the working world, you should give every action its due time.  If you read a news article, really read the article.  If you want to paint your nails, then cut out all other distractions and paint your nails.  If you get dinner with a friend, put the cell phones away, look your companion in the eyes, and be present.  If I had given all of my attention to even just one item on my list last night, I wouldn't have felt like a chicken running around with its head cut off all day.


Also appropriate to the theme of tonight's post is this note I found in my phone, inspired by late night conversations while probably listening to Portuguese music in Dan's room.

Every moment is fleeting.
If you analyze the moment, then you've already lost your grasp on it.
If you embrace it, you've removed yourself from it.
If you photograph it, you've only experienced the moment by proxy.
If you live in the moment,
It's yours.
You own the moment.

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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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