|photo credit – grzegorzmilos.com
I haven’t written a full-length article in a while and I’m thinking maybe I should revisit this. I miss writing but life is such that there is little time for the things that matter the most to us. Everything is just rushed as we try to squeeze in the many things that encompass a typical day. You get up early, get ready for work, for those of us with families we hurry to get our kids ready for school all packed and ready to face the day equipped with all the necessary tools to have a productive day. All set, we hit the road…literally. Some days the traffic is better but some time or another we encounter some sort of discomfort on our travels. I have found it worth the sacrifice (of sleep) to leave at least fifteen minutes earlier on mornings and afternoons to avoid the agonizing delays and frustration spent in jams…not to mention less fuel consumption…it’s amazing! You hear me going on and on about traffic but the plethora of cars on the roads these days is just horrific! I know everyone wants to be independent in terms of their daily commute but it is frustrating at times (forgive me for saying this) especially with all the “bad drives” you have to dodge on a daily basis.
When you get to work you juggle many tasks, meetings, deadlines, phone calls, projects and the like in an effort to get everything done before it’s time to hit the road again. Some days it passes faster than others…other times you can’t wait for it to end so that you can just spend some quality time with loved ones, relax or get to your after work activities. Some may have classes, some may have hobbies such as exercise or sports. Others may not have it so easy and have to pick up the kids from school and make drop-offs to after-school activities and help with homework – leaving little time for much else. Most of us get home at nightfall with just enough time to prepare for the next day, whether it’s meals, ironing or other household chores. By this time you are just praying for your bed to put up your feet and catch some zeez. Before you know it …your alarm goes off and it’s time to do it all over again and you feel like you’re trapped in the movie “Groundhog Day.” For those of us that haven’t seen this 1990s movie, it’s about the actor Bill Murray’s character who keeps reliving the same day over and over until he finds redemption. Then the weekend goes so fast sometimes you wish there are less workdays and more of the weekend.
My point through all of this is that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and forget to enjoy life. You get bored with life, work and those around you. You hear people complaining about this all the time. It’s the little things though (that we don’t stop to absorb) that makes you thankful and bring a smile or laughter to your countenance. It may be a scenery of trees or flowering poui that you pass by everyday on the way to work and never take the time to notice until you are stuck in traffic one day and you suddenly notice it, or a bird, a breathtaking sunset….or rainbow that just catches you by surprise. This has happened to me on several occasions and it brought such joy and appreciation for life. To think that all these things were there all the time and I did not realize it until that moment. Every time I pass by the foreshore and the sun sparkles on the water as it sets, I can’t help but slow my pace a bit and thank God for the ability for my sense of sight. I was giving a colleague a ride home yesterday and without prompting, she said to me as we both passed this same spot: “don’t you just love it when the river meets the sea?!” We both looked across and watched it in silence (someone else notices I thought!…although mute). At work it may be an eccentric co-worker that breaks the monotony of the day. Or at home, a pet that greets you when you open your gate…we must all find ways to get a little enjoyment from life…it’s the simple pleasures that makes your life unique and worthwhile. Whether it is a nagging spouse or sibling that you constantly argue with. Thank God that you have a spouse or brother or sister to nag you sometimes, for there are many lonely people out there that long for the experience and wish they had someone in their life. If you hate going to the gym like me, stop to give thanks that you have the ability and means to exercise, for there are many that can’t for one reason or another. And when I think about it, it is for my benefit and I do get some enjoyment when all is said and done and I am grateful that I find the energy and willpower to rally through and maintain a healthy fitness lifestyle for the past 8 years.
No matter how busy your life gets though, you must make the time to do something for ‘you’ regularly. Whether it is sewing, baking, caring for your automobile, listening to music, playing an instrument, talking to your best friend on the phone, sharing a joke from the day with your neighbour or spouse, watching your favourite television show or writing in a journal. I haven’t watched television in almost two years as I was studying and it did not bother me, now I have re-discovered what I was missing. It is an escape from reality for half an hour or more as you enter into a make-belief life with your favourite characters. I have found that I like old movies maybe from a decade or two ago (no not black & white!), sitcoms, comedies and action/drama. Just three times a week I like to escape to a private world. Nikita and The New Adventures of Old Christine are some of my favourite shows on TV right now. Recently I have watched Home Alone, Pretty Woman and Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory and for those few minutes I don’t think about anything else which is a simple pleasure for me. I am not fond of television but it takes me back to a time when life was simple.
These are just some of my favourite things that I like to do to break the monotony when I am not out enjoying the outdoors. I thought that I would share, so you too can pass on what you like to do to make life fun. Remember it’s not the big things that make you happy, but little moments that add to your joy and form part of the whole picture. When you look back at your life you would not remember that one ‘big thing’ that suddenly caused utopia, but snapshots of a good life well lived to the fullest. Live it in a way so that you can testify to this. ©