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Do most Aspies live in the moment?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by kevinmac, May 13, 2015.

  1. kevinmac

    kevinmac Member

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    My Aspie fiance seems to live nearly purely in the now. She has trouble remembering (or maybe it is caring) what happened two days ago, or what will happen next week. Is this characteristic one that a lot of Aspie's share?

    Kevin
     
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  2. Warmheart

    Warmheart Something nerdy this way comes V.I.P Member

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    We are often considerably challenged with planning. This can mean planning and co-ordinating a dinner-- or planning a life. Executive functioning issues come into play.

    I can tell you what I will do tonight, tomorrow, and this week, but beyond that, vague ideas of "I'd like to plant Shasta daisies this summer," and "I'd like a husband again someday," remain soft, fuzzy ideas until I can try hard to make things manifest via lists and working hard to do what needs to be done-- and even then, goals do fall apart in the execution.

    Our narrow grasp of time, of events, of goals-- and how to implement them-- can be vague, hazy, indistinct compared to a neurotypical's more comprehensive, broader, scope-y view of time, events, and goals.
     
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  3. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    If I'm not living pretty close to the here and now, I'm wallowing in the past. Unfortunately, my kind of here and now does not necessarily mean I am aware and focused on the who, what, where, of the present. I'm there taking in what is going on around me, observing, analyzing and trying to figure out what's going on, so I am often not being an active participant.

    I have always had a good memory of what has happened, down to precise details, though that is slipping a bit as the age creeps up. I can also remember what is scheduled, especially things that directly involve me, but that doesn't mean that I will be prepared for them.

    That sums it up pretty well. I've only recently realized that most people spend a lot of their "present time" preparing for the future. I have always had a vague, hazy sense of the future, and it used to cause me a great deal of anxiety.
     
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  4. kris

    kris Well-Known Member

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    I find that I am happiest living in the now. Living in the past causes depression for me.. and the future nothing but anxiety.
     
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  5. Harrison

    Harrison The Mad Taoist

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    I choose to be in the 'now' as I believe I'm here to experience life. My past is just a record of experiences to remind me that the future can change in a heartbeat.
     
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  6. Etzelaire

    Etzelaire Well-Known Member

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    Well, as you travel in time (psychologically to make plans) your accuracy becomes more fragile. Hence making plans in the long run is difficult but I rather use guidelines.
     
  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If I didn't consciously try to live in the moment I likely wouldn't be here.
     
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  8. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a very good memory, at least for certain things, and I definitely care about the future.
     
  9. Slithytoves

    Slithytoves Oblique Strategist

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    This is a tough question to answer simply. You could say a lot of us live in the now in that we tend to function better when we focus on what's in front of us, and because when we're away from our loved ones or working on something, we can forget about everything and everyone else almost completely. One the other hand, many of the same Aspies who fit those descriptions are also ruminators, mentally replaying and rehashing past events and obsessively worrying about the future. When we don't have something specific and external to capture our attention in the moment, many of us can turn inward and seriously wallow.

    As for Aspie memories, we can be like steel traps for anything we find interesting or important, but like sieves for stuff we don't label "save and file this close to the front" when we do our in-processing.

    What it may come down to for the sake of comparison to NTs is that whatever we happen to be doing or thinking about, we often do it to the extreme. Moderation can be a real struggle.
     
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  10. kevinmac

    kevinmac Member

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    Wow. Tremendously helpful answers. Thank you.
     
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  11. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    I can't remember things like what I had for breakfast today (especially if someone is grilling me). I don't really care - it's more important that I ate than that I remember exactly what it was. NTs seem to think that's odd. If my week has been mundane, don't expect me to remember all the details.
    On the other hand I have vivid memories of other things in the past that I care about.
    Long term planning is difficult. With depression, even more so.
     
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  12. adamindeltona

    adamindeltona Well-Known Member

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    That describes my perception perfectly. The past is pain, the future is unknown, and I am forced to live in the present. So I do the best I can.
     
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  13. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

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    From a philosophical point of view, I believe it is impossible to truly live in the present. By the a stimulus has been taken in by your sensory receptors, processed by your brain, and manifested in your consciousness it is no longer the present. In fact, all we can really experience is the past. The future will surely come, but the present is an illusion.

    Still, "living in the moment" sound appealing. I tend to ruminate on past failures and future concerns. I catastophise, think myself into a spiral of dread and futility. Getting lost in the present, though it be an illusion, is quite preferable. Illusions often are.
     
  14. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hard question to answer for Aspies in general.

    Personally I had thought that Aspies tend to have traits that often pull them away from living in the moment. Its something that can be both positive and negative, though I think the negative aspects are more common and maybe due to being stuck in one mode or another.
     
  15. kris

    kris Well-Known Member

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    I definitely do have those traits.. if I'm not obsessing over something someone said or trying to figure out if the meant what I thought they meant, I'm making up conversations in my head for future use. When I catch myself doing those things, I try and shut them down as quickly as I can.. either turn on some music or focus on the immediate task at hand... it's the best way I know to manage my anxiety (that I know in my brain is all in my head). It's definitely a conscious effort to live in the present for me, but I'm happiest when I do.
     
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  16. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    That is of course true, that is why I said that I live "pretty close" to the present. With the time it takes for something to wend its way through my reactions and encounters my slow processing speed, indeed, the time has passed. My "present" lags significantly behind most peoples, even considering your philosophical stance. However, since being diagnosed, I have worked hard to minimize my tendency to drift off and try to give more attention to what is happening around me.
     
  17. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That pretty much describes my own unmonitored journey. Comparing it to a road, I can have my head down imagining what might be up ahead (anxiety) or dwelling on what occurred behind (obsessing?) and damn I almost stepped on a snake, or missed seeing a waterfall 20 feet away.

    Those tendencies can actually become skills if used correctly. The detailed examination of events can bring on insight and understanding. Looking ahead can be advantageous for predicting and avoiding problems or being prepared for them if they do occur.

    Living contently, relaxation and happiness seem to occur most when one is in the present however, focused on what is right in front of you, enjoying the moment or just having a restful mind. Its also the best place to be when one is in a unusual or potentially dangerous situation (driving is a common example).

    So like you say its best to try to train oneself to live in the present as ones default setting, and deploying forward or backwards sensors in a controlled way. Not to say its going to be perfect, but to be self aware, or checking where you are mentally periodically.
     
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  18. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    I read an article this morning about a local man who is very involved in directing the future of the community he lives in, (school board, area charitable foundations, etc.) a very forward thinking guy.. He was asked how he was able to be effective. His answer was "I spend about 10% of my time looking back, 10% of my time thinking and working on now, and 80% looking to the future."

    Now, that is probably exaggerated, but it underscores my earlier thoughts; that normal, effective people spend a great deal of their time (present moment) thinking about the future. That makes me feel pretty hopeless, because my thoughts of the future are filled only with things that probably won't happen (my positive ideas) things that will happen (inevitables, like getting old, having to get a new car sometime) and things that I fear could happen.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  19. Greg

    Greg Well-Known Member

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    I would agree. When the day does not go well I sleep it off and start the next day new. A new start.
     
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  20. Greg

    Greg Well-Known Member

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    My memory is really bad so sometimes it actually works in my favor because I do live in current times and not in the past.
     
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