There are seasons in my life where I spent more energy anticipating a future moment than I did living in the one I actually occupied. If I could just make it a few more days, weeks or months to that next milestone event, then those moments would be the ones I could truly enjoy.
I have lived the bulk of the last 22 years in Asia and some places have been harder to live in than others. During our nine years in Laos, I would dream of my trips to the US with its malls, shoe stores, grocery stores and sliced deli meats.
When the kids were babies I used to yearn for a time when they would bathe themselves and I could get out of the door without fifteen bags.
However, in a blink of an eye those days have all slipped into the annuls of memory. I have every store at my disposal now, but my kids have grown up and gone to college.
Dr. Seuss asked, “How did it get so late so soon?” I can’t think of a worse predicament than to reach the end of my life and wonder what in the world I did with it!
With each passing year, I am becoming more convinced that time must be lived and enjoyed in the moment, if it is to be enjoyed at all. I have to mind every moment.
Time is the great equalizer! It doesn’t matter our position or status in life; we all have the same 24 hours to live each day. It’s how we use the time that varies.
I am making a greater effort to live all the moments of my life…making sure to appreciate all the “in-between times” as much as those events I would have previously deemed noteworthy.
How about you…are you living each moment of your days? If not, it’s not too late to make a conscious effort to enjoy life’s moments.
How many times have you heard about a new restaurant or shop in the neighborhood only to realize you have passed it by for the last six months? I know I am guilty of going on auto-pilot when I hit the driver’s seat, but it’s amazing how much I notice and appreciate when I bother to actually look around.
Take time to look out the window when you are making your daily drive home. Or, turn up your favorite song and belt it out like it’s your big break to get picked up by a record label.
Make the extra effort to tell others what you are thinking. It’s easy to take people for granted; especially if we know that they are receiving compensation for their work. However, a word of kindness or a sincere observation binds us all a little closer and takes mundane activities to a deeper level.
I make a conscious effort to address servers and salespersons by name. Hey, that’s why they wear a name tag! Inevitably, I notice an immediate shift in a person’s demeanor when I address them by name. This simple humanizing act conveys that I recognize and acknowledge them.
We fixate on negative things we face. In fact, the accidents, mess-ups and misunderstandings of life can easily wring every ounce of joy from any given day.
Take a minute to review your day at least two hours before you go to bed.
You get the idea.
Our joy is ultimately determined by our perspective. Life is comprised of a string of mundane tasks with a spattering of extraordinary thrown in here and there. That means that the largest percentage of our lives can potentially go unnoticed unless we make a conscious effort to stand up and take notice.
Life is worth living…all of it!
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Precious thoughts. I too am realizing the futility of waiting for ‘that special day or moment’ when I can “really” live my life and be happy. Hello! Now is the moment to be happy. You said it “Our job is ultimately determined by our perspective”. Nice to have found your lovely blog via the Blogger’s Pit Stop.
Hi Sara,I am so glad you found me!
I was a passenger in a car with a stressed driver. This person, I’ll use she, hated red lights.
“That’s a minute I’ll never get back,” she said. “I hate wasting my time.”
I understand where she is coming from and wasn’t that different myself at certain points in my life. Now, I try to see waiting periods, whether they are stop lights, line ups at the post office, or sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, with a more positive outlook.
Every minute is one you will never get back, so how you spend it is your choice. You cannot choose to drive through the red light, but you can choose how to react to it. You can spend that minute fuming and fretting, driving up your blood pressure, increasing your stomach acid, and possibly causing unnecessary adrenalin to be released, or you can accept it as a gift.
Many of us rush from one task to another, often overwhelmed by duties and demands, without a single minute to ourselves. However, if we open our eyes, the universe gives us minutes in spite of our hell-bent nature to drive ourselves to exhaustion. Take the minute and use it to your advantage.
At the stoplight, breathe slowly and deeply into your belly. Roll your shoulders back. Stretch your head to the left, right, and up. Give that minute to yourself as a break. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude to your higher power for trapping you into focussing on yourself.
During longer periods, such as in a waiting room, treat it like a small vacation. Most importantly, pay attention to yourself. How are you feeling? Why? Do you have to feel this way? Can you change your attitude? Can you rethink what you are taking on. Are you upset about the wait or are you really upset because you are feeling overwhelmed? What can you do to care for yourself?
As well, while you wait you can do something you enjoy but seldom have time for.
Meditate, listen to music on your ipod, read a book, or, best of all, sit and do nothing. Doing nothing is a lost art and an important part of distressing. Take the time to simply BE. You have no where else you can be, so BE where you are.
Thanks for your incite full comments, Bonnie. Just the fact that you took the time to write this reply shows how you are investing yourself in a positive way for the benefit of others. I believe a moment spent in service to others is never wasted!
I enjoy my time at the gym. Recently I had a short conversation with one of the teachers just to offer a compliment. She caught my husband later to say how much it meant. Our words really matter. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion.
Encouragement is a gift that can be given with little investment, but it often yields life-changing rewards!
Dear Shellie, I love the wisdom of this post, we are going to feature it on Friday. The Blogger’s Pit stop values quality posts.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
Thanks Kath, I’m so glad you liked it!
So very true! Having just moved to the UK, I so often think ‘Why did we sell our beautiful house in Germany’? But then this is what we always wanted and we have the most beautiful countryside on our doorstep and you just have to enjoy it. It’s what life is about. Love, Kirsten xx
From your pictures, it’s definitely a beautiful place.
I love this post, look out the window, I belt out any song as long as I know the lyrics and if I dont I hum aong shaking my head when I am driving. LIfe if truly full of millions of great moments if only we would stop and smell the coffee 🙂 Thanks for sharing at the pit stop!