Rather than spend another twelve seconds uselessly ruminating about the past and future, consider giving that time instead to what is actually happening: the simple task of wrapping up the cord and putting the thing away. “Giving time” in this way—being fully, willingly aware of the buttoning of a shirt, the sealing of an envelope, the peeling of a carrot—acts as a small but effective challenge to the mind’s habit of trying to constantly get away from real life. Ten or twelve seconds at a time, we learn not to be so squeamish about simply being where we are, and letting life unfold at the speed it actually does.
Give time to some small thing, then feel free to go back to absently ruminating on election reform, or rehearsing a conversation with your neighbor about his dogs. Later on, when it occurs to you, do it for some other small thing. This isn’t hard at all, and the result is a gradual relaxing of this constant pull we have towards getting the hell out of most of the moments we’re in.
From “How to Be Patient”
by David Cain