Have you ever gone shopping at a crowded department store after a long day to buy clothes you don’t really want for an upcoming event that you dread attending?
And then once you get home, you woof down your salad so you can get to the “main meal.” But you don’t bother actually chewing or tasting dinner, because you’re rushing to get to dessert.
Once you’re done eating, you’re so bloated that you have to loosen the draw string on your sweatpants to get more comfortable.
Then you crash on the couch where you immediately start falling asleep.
After a few minutes, you go to bed. After all, you have to get up early so you can go to the gym and burn off the calories of the meal you didn’t enjoy just to be sure that you can fit into the clothes that you didn’t want so you look nice at the party that you wish you could miss.
Learn to Savor More Moments
You can look at the above story and say, “Yes, that’s like a day-in-the-life-of-me. It’s why I feel so busy and irritable!” But couldn’t you look at the same scenario and instead be grateful for the crowded mall (the economy is picking up), the long work day (you have a job), the clothes you can afford (you have money), the party (you have friends), the food (you aren’t starving), the couch and the bed (you have a place to stay warm and rest your body), and the gym (somewhere to exercise your body)?
I spent the first 40 years of my life rushing into what? The next 40 years of my life? I’m learning to stop and savor. I’ve had to learn what it means to find the joy of what’s right in front of me instead of hurrying on to the next thing, the supposedly “better” thing.
Find Joy in THIS Moment
Next time you’re in a moment that you wish would pass, rethink it.
The irate customer taking his anger out on you? Find the joy in discovering what you can learn from this situation. And besides, how do you know that the next customer will be any calmer?
The snowplow in front of you that’s keeping you from getting where you want to be? Find the joy in remembering that you’re in your car, not walking. And besides, how do you know you could even make it home safely if the plow weren’t clearing the way?
The dinner plate containing something you’d rather not eat? Find the joy in knowing that you have food, the means to buy food, and are more fortunate than 90% of the population on the planet. And besides, it wouldn’t kill you to eat a small meal, would it?
The friend who calls you complain that her boyfriend isn’t supportive? Find the joy of being trusted enough for someone to care what you think. And besides, haven’t you needed a friend to vent to when you’ve faced hard times?
The job that you hate? Find the joy in having work that some people would gladly take. And besides, do you remember how bored you’ve been when you were confined to bed rest?
Reframe Your View
The next time you find yourself in the middle of something that ranges from mundane to downright unpleasant, stop. Stay in the moment. Look around until you find something–anything–that can become a joyful memory.
The picture I used for this blog is a great example: laundry drying on a clothesline. It doesn’t get much more mundane than that. Do you know where the joy can be found? Realizing that someday I will lack the strength to care for myself. When I do my own laundry, I’m grateful that I have the mobility and the autonomy to take care of myself and my family. Instead of being depressed, I become appreciative.
Don’t rush on to the next thing. Because you have no guarantee that the next moment will be any better. In fact, you have no promise that you’ll even see a next moment at all.
SPECIAL THANKS and WELCOME to the new friends I met in my recent travels to Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota! You’re the reason that I love what I do!