Remembering that a moment is comprised of the smooth or rough textures under your finger-pads, the light bouncing off of surrounding people and objects, the scent of moisture-rich air and freshly picked rosemary, the taste of honey in hot tea, the sound of an owl, classical music and the wind brushing leaves from their branches.

The Many Hats

Modern Software

Operating On Ancient Machinery

We are extraordinary animals. I've contemplated the internal and collective battles we modern humans face in our every-day lives since I was 24 or so. Yet somehow, today, when I came to recognize the source of my anxiety-laced multi-tasking, it was as though I had somehow forgotten this. The returned revelation washed a sense of relief from my head to my feet. Not only am I an ape-shaped carrier of ancient genes built to mate, reproduce and die, I'm a business owner, and I'm obsessed with the measurable prosperity of my career-path. This is the way we've opted to spend our lives as a cooperative species; working (for most of it) to make money, only to arrive at the final stretch having hardly grasped every sacred and fleeting moment. At times, I'm asking myself: would I rather be stressed about collecting the necessary amount of dollars or escaping a lion in the brush? I tend to believe that we have it rather cushy as modern people. An astounding number of us survive (in spite of how nature would have it), we live 70+ years and don't have to hunt or gather our food. But visit your local grocery store, doctor's office or dmv and take a pulse on the liveliness of most people's daily routines. At the least, we are a peculiar manifestation of the most intelligent species on the planet.

Meditation and mindfulness practices, the act of simply being without over-thinking and sensing the world as you did a small child, has to be taught to our adults. We have to remind ourselves to wake up again from the tortures of anxious inner-monologues and it's being sold to us on apps. We're certainly onto something important, something we didn't know we had lost. And I'm very grateful to the voices that have helped me to understand that. It's this that opens the door to enjoying the beautiful life I am living when my mind has become tangled in the obsession of work. It's truly an art of balancing- being and working ambitiously. I'm nowhere near perfecting it, but lately I'm reminding myself to become as ambitious about my presence as my career.

I've titled this piece The Many Hats because these words come to my mind every time I wonder if I'm not doing quite enough to become the best version of myself. I am a progress-driven thinker and I love to see my goals and dreams realized. It's possible, at times, I have far too many and this only hurts my ability to focus and make the strides I'm aiming to. It isn't until I can pull my tired-mind back to the present that these unrealistic expectations can be reanalyzed rationally. I occupy many necessary roles in my life and I'm willing to bet it's likely you do as well. I'll make use of a mental exercise and lay them out to take a look from a distance. What am I first? A living organism, made up of many tiny organisms. I navigate the world with my eyes, ears, smell, taste and touch. Well, I'm already blown away! I am a descendant, a female, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, wife, companion to a small, social feline. I shop for groceries, I keep up a house, make meals, socialize with my close-knit community. I have my own business.- within that business my roles are photographer, videographer, editor, colorist, marketing and client intake/acquisition, social media manager, designer, book-keeper, strategist.

As I step back and look at these roles, I'm noticing first that I really love them all. Well, other than grocery shopping. Some of them within my business could later be outsourced, should I manage to loosen my obsessive grip on every aspect of my work. I'll work on this. But I love cleaning my home, spending time with my family, manicuring my husband's dirty fingernails and letting my cat outside to play. I love creating images and videos. I enjoy updating my proposal designs and sending invoices and emails. There is much to enjoy between the moments we tend to believe are of highest importance. At the sound of a page turning, I've glanced from my computer to see Jason laying at the other end of the couch with his book, Boo (our cat) resting on his legs as he reads. It's evening, a dark November one and we've made tea to wind down. These simple rituals, if we can be present in them, are nourishing.

There's always work to be done. Bold new strides to make. And the modern human's ability to function in this high pressure, fast-paced, multi-tasking environment, where we many times individually play all the roles a small community once shared, is remarkable. Especially since we've seen little biological change since our hunter-gatherer ancestry. But not without the obvious mental-costs that we face daily. Our awareness of this is the key to our freedom. Remembering that a moment is comprised of the smooth or rough textures under your finger-pads, the light bouncing off of surrounding people and objects, the scent of moisture-rich air and freshly picked rosemary, the taste of honey in hot tea, the sound of an owl, classical music and the wind brushing leaves from their branches. As grown humans, it takes practice to rediscover the place our young experience for the first 8-12 years of their lives. It's as though the world gradually fades away, the older we get and the more we distract ourselves from the wonders of existence. Our past with it- almost forgotten. At all times, we are one deep humble breath away from this magical place. The one where there's light and color and brisk air carrying notes of each season. Crossing this self-inflicted boundary is a spirituality that requires no suspension of reasoning. Only your full, undivided attention.

We place a lot of strain on these old survival machines in our twenty-first century way of life. And it requires a careful use of our reasoning faculties to create a healthy balance. Our predicament- this awareness of how precious each second of existence really is, coupled with our biological tendencies and cultural experiments, creates an attention deficit with respect to what matters most. We will toy with this for at least another couple hundred years. If there's an answer, perhaps then we will have it. If not, we will continue to tinker, zigzag across a shifting landscape in search of the future. As the (currently only known) thinking-animal of planet earth we will continue to be beneficiaries and victims of our progression.