Be Still. Be Free. Be Content.
A lifestyle blog about achieving balance in your everyday life.
The reality is that our average day is…well, average. Learning how to enjoy life while you’re living it can help you achieve balance and maximize overall happiness. On a normal day, you begin by waking up to your alarm clock and start rushing around to prepare for your day. From the moment you wake up, your day consists of a series of errands and tasks to get you from point A to point B – which does not leave any room to stop and enjoy life’s little moments.
Most of us find ourselves waiting for and looking forward to the big moments in life – graduation, wedding, the birth of your baby, that once-in-a-lifetime vacation or well – deserved promotion. I personally believe that if you are living your entire life only for those big moments, you will eventually be let down. We tend to engross ourselves entirely in the anticipation of our upcoming big event or “moment.” We focus on planning every perfect detail, building hype with our friends and family, visualizing, dreaming of it over and over in our heads. Instead of enjoying the entire journey and the little moments along the way, we only live for that one big moment. By envisioning the perfect day so intently, we are often disappointed in the end result due to the event failing to meet the unrealistic expectations we’ve built up in our mind. I challenge everyone to, not only live for the big moments, but to take time to enjoy life’s “little” moments too. My brother, Chad, in his infinite wisdom, showed me the benefit of living my life with this perspective.
For those that don’t know Chad’s story, he passed away January 16, 2014 of cancer. Although he struggled with mental and physical disabilities for 38 years, as well as crippling pain as his health problems further developed, he still found beauty in the world and people around him. I found him to be a truly remarkable person, not just because he was my brother, but because he was an incredibly insightful human being. Chad was incredibly happy and peaceful in his life, despite his daily battles. He found simple pleasures in what most take for granted. He was a master at developing coping strategies to deal with his daily obstacles. Chad continually adapted and taught himself, and those around him, that life was about enjoying the journey, not just getting to the destination. A great example of this way of living is Chad’s morning routine. It would take hours, but he always made a point to enjoy the process. He would listen to music, read about Detroit sports or environmental news, and take pictures of my mom’s cat, Molly, as she laid in his sink or shower. He was content and peaceful because he found happiness in these little moments and I aspire to live more like this– to live a life with more intention and joy.
As I analyze my own interpersonal relationships, I have discovered proof that Chad’s insight was something all should live by. While helping a friend celebrate her 40th birthday, it came to me that life truly is about cherishing the little moments, even if it seems simple or mundane at first. While her guests were sitting downstairs watching the game, I stayed upstairs, to talk with my dear friend while she was getting ready for her big night. What I didn’t foresee at that time was that this simple moment of watching her get ready would be the most memorable part of my night as we reminisced about old times. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the party very much, but months after that event, what I remembered most was our conversation while she got ready. This little moment taught me a big lesson: don’t get mad at the time it takes your friends, girlfriends or wives to get ready like most guys do. Instead, choose to be part of the process and enjoy this simple moment together instead of rushing to get to what’s ahead.
With Chad’s wisdom in mind, I implore you to not compare your “average” day to someone else’s “once-in-a-lifetime” moment – it’s just not comparing apples-to-apples. I think it’s more like comparing peas to sweet tarts and THAT is difficult to compare properly. Sure, you can be envious of Cinderella while she attended her ball, but remember, no matter who you are, we all will have our Cinderella moments. It’s easy to lose track of this as the majority of our days are spent running errands, working, cooking, laundry, and taking care of kids. With this, I encourage you to adopt Chad’s wisdom into your routine just as I have. Start living your life with intention by cherishing and creating more of life’s little moments. Those of us that master enjoying this simple lesson are one step closer to finding a true balance in our lives.