Is life exactly where you want it to be at this very moment?
Easier to answer for some than for others. I can tell you, with only two twitches of my eye, that mine is not. Recently, I’ve accepted this fact with open arms. Not resigned or surrendered – I think that’s an important distinction to make. I’ve embraced it. I swear this will make sense, just let me get there.
As somewhat of a realist, I can certainly admit there are aspects of my life that I wish to be different… better. There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy every day. I can complain about my job, stress about finances, moan when I have to get up early and walk halfway across the neighborhood to get to my car. The world makes it so easy to be unhappy. Don’t believe me? Turn on the news.
Negative emotions are potent, and more importantly, easy to understand. It’s much easier to verbalize why you’re pissed off at the guy in the BMW who just cut you off than to put into words why an unexpected gesture of kindness made you feel so fulfilled. It is why, in the war between anger and love, many turn to the former. It’s just less complicated.
So, after doing my fair share of wallowing, I reached somewhat of a paradoxical compromise. “Well… if I’m going to be unhappy, I mine as well be happy”. For whatever reason, this sentiment clicked and I’ve been feeling more relaxed and at peace than I have for months. All it took was a simple lens adjustment, a change in outlook. The world makes it so easy to be unhappy, but it makes it even easier to be happy.
Instead of wasting energy on everything you don’t like about your life, focus on the little bits of gold that present themselves every day. A long walk to my car is no longer is a chore, but an excuse to get some fresh air and enjoy the weather. Complaining about my job becomes a sense of gratitude for a steady income to fund my travel passion.
Getting stuck in rush hour traffic is no longer a death-gripped rage-fest, but a reason to genuinely enjoy my favorite music instead of mindlessly listening. Did the guy in the BMW still cut me off? Sure, but I don’t know, fuck him. Anyone who acts disrespectful in public is seldom someone who is respected in private. Letting someone get the best of you by evoking childish behavior is a guaranteed way to ruin time you will never get back.
None of this means I will stop trying to improve my situation. Like I said, this isn’t about giving up. It’s just about making the conscious effort to do things because you get to, not because you have to.
Life is too short to get stuck in the weeds of discontent. Soak in the good, shrug off the bad. Marinate in the meat of life. (<- put that on my tombstone)
If, at the end of your life, you get to watch the whole thing back like a movie, would it be a chore or a treat?