The internet is full of inspirational quotes and sayings about how to live your life – what to do, what not to do, how to be happy – the list goes on and on. I personally can’t get through one time-sucking, Pinterest-browsing session without reading a quote that speaks to me and my life. Like many of you I’m sure, I reflect on that quote for several seconds, and then it is filed away in my “Quotes” board, unnoticed by me for another six months. The days get busy and we fall into old habits and our usual flaws. When I do go back and read through these simple sayings, it’s the best reminder and opportunity to re-focus parts of my life.
Recently I found a quote that suggests a very simple idea, but is something that I believe everyone can relate to.
How many times do we think “once _____ happens, I’ll be so much happier”? “Once I reach that point, that relationship, that job, life will be better.” This way of thinking has been very present in my life lately, because of the situations my husband and I have been in. We had dreams of moving out of our home state and taking on new adventures, but our fears, our family, and our friends kept us from leaving. Would it really be worth leaving all of that behind? So we stayed put, and pushed back the idea to a “someday” goal. We invested time fantasizing about where we would live, what our weekends would be like, and how much happier we might be if we made the change. Once circumstances were right, we made the move to Colorado (more on that to come later) and experienced lots of excitement and adventures; however, things still weren’t in place. My husband has spent months looking for a job, and once I lost my job unexpectedly, our puzzle now seems to be falling apart rather than coming together. I can’t help but think about how much easier life will be once we are employed, and we can relax and enjoy life so much more. I almost want to transport myself to that time when we have things figured out…(although I never think you have it ALL figured out.)
But in the meantime, I find myself wishing away the weeks, and waiting for the “better” days to come, rather than focusing on making TODAY happy. While it’s good to have goals and plans, I think many of us are living for the future, rather than the present. As cliche as it sounds, time comes and goes so quickly, and it is one thing we can never get back.
I am making the conscious decision to make happy memories TODAY, rather than anticipating happy memories TOMORROW and in the future. What motivates me the most is that I don’t want to look back six months from now and remember all of the days I spent stressed and unhappy because of life’s present circumstances. If you allow yourself to adopt that mindset, once you reach your goal, you will be looking forward to the next step that will make things “better.” I printed off this quote as a constant reminder to be thankful for everything I do have and to appreciate the beauty all around me.
Do you have any strategies that help you to live in and enjoy the present?