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Keep Your Frame Anchored in Reality, or Spend Your Life Drifting
Carpe diem actually means "pluck the day", not as is commonly understood, "seize the day". It's not just an exhortation to grab the day by the scruff of the neck and then proceed therewith to wring its neck. It's also meant as a call to enjoy the day, because it might well be all we have.
But when was the last time you had a day you set out to enjoy in advance and ended the day with everything you had intended to do, done, with that feeling of accomplishment that comes knowing you gave it your all and are moving towards your goals?
What I want to talk about is more minute than the day. And no, that doesn't mean I'm going to talk about plucking the minute, though you're welcome to do that, and I'd encourage it.
I'm going to ask that you control the frame of your day. The frame of my day, when I'm not focussed, is not set by me. It's set by the outside world, that pours incessantly, mewling, bleating, barking, puking into my consciousness via my smartphone.
I don't know about you, but I can't do the "charge your phone in a different room to your bedroom overnight thing". Mine has my Dexcom readings on it and my alarms should my blood sugar rise or drop dangerously, and it needs to be close enough to my sensor to do that. You might have your own reasons.
The computer, the iPad, same thing, portals that you tumble into inadvertently, or through habit that once you've entered, frame your day. Pretty soon the day is gone and all we've been doing is tumbling.
I believe in controlling the frame of my day. I do use a computer for this, usually through a day template that contains all the things I regularly do, and sections for actions, promises, wins and musings, but even that is too much to begin with. The frame is not intentional, it's still being drive by my past self and then let's face it, I'm on the computer, one thing leads to another, Slack, email, Twitter, Discord, YouTube, and well, I'm fucked.
That's why I resort to paper. It doesn't matter what kind. For emergencies, nothing beats a 5"x3" index card for me, but I'll use my notebook, a scrap, a whiteboard, anything that is visible and lives outside the frame of the Internet.
I want to be intentional about what I do. Every passing day makes me realise that I'm awful at going with the flow, and that going with the flow is another way of saying "drifting, aimlessly"
If we are not intentional, that is, what drives our day doesn't come from within, but instead is prompted and then mercilessly driven by what is out there, we will never live the life we actually desire.
Desire is different from whimsy. What's out there appeals to our whims, what's inside, if we listen, is our desire. It might be buried under a layer of dust from years of neglect, but it's there.
We live in a connected world. We will go through the portal at some point in our day, but our frame should always exist outside that portal. It's the rope that keeps us tethered to what we intend, and it must always be there, or we will become lost.
Keep the frame of your day anchored in reality.