NEW SERIES: CELEBRATE THE PRESENT
I’m so in love with the Friday feeling. When the weekend stretches before you in all its 2.3 days of glory; promising you lengthy lie-ins, fun times with friends, and plenty of good old relaxation. It’s an amazing time… until Sunday evening rolls around quicker than you can blink. Suddenly Monday morning looms around the corner like a big black cloud on the horizon, and a little bit of dread fills your soul. It’s time again to face a whole five days of working adult life.
Let me ask you this. Do you ever get to work in the morning (especially on a Monday), and wish that it was 5pm already and time to go home? Do you begin the countdown to the weekend on a Tuesday?
Somehow, we’ve all ended up in a trap in which we’re literally living for the weekend. We live for life’s highlight reel—for summer holidays abroad, for Christmas, for birthdays, for the exciting moments that are more of an occasion than an everyday reality. This means we’re spending about 80% of our lives wishing time away waiting for those other 20% moments. Meanwhile we endure the “normal” moments, dreading chores and hating mornings.
I make the whole “Thank God It’s Friday” jokes as much as everyone else, and yet deep down I don’t want to live like that…
So what’s the answer—should we try and make our lives into ones of infinite fun and no responsibility? Can we create lifestyles which are full to the brim with non-stop thrills and endless magic, kicking the whole nine till five thing to the curb?
If you take advice from Instagram stars and travel bloggers, you might just come across this message—that of course you can design the perfect life. You can make everything just how you want it, each day full of glorious moments, skipping across the globe into the sunset with no boredom ever to be experienced again.
How I wish this was true. Unfortunately though, it isn’t. Yes of course you can go after the things you really want, finding joy in those things and creating a lifestyle you love. If you hate the nine till five, don’t do it. However, the truth is that no matter what you do, who you are, how much money you have, or how awesome your job is, you will never completely escape the mundane side of life. There will always be errands and practical matters to take care of. There will always be boring and not-so-glamourous sides to any kind of life you map out for yourself. Everyday life will always be everyday life.
I know this sounds like I’m being totally depressing, but stick with me on it. If there’s no escaping the dull, difficult, less fun parts of our existence—what are we to do? How can you be happy every day, and live life to the full?
I believe the answer is not necessarily always found in trying to change your circumstances, but in shifting your perspective. We can actually choose to love everyday life no matter how seemingly unexciting it is. It’s all in your head and the way you think.
Why not choose to make the most of every moment, no matter what it is you’re doing. I honestly think you can learn to enjoy even the most dreaded parts of your day—all it takes is a change in attitude. If you can’t stand cleaning, for example, stick on some music, crank up the volume and have a little boogie while you do it. Why not pray and spend some time with God while you’re scrubbing the oven?
If you’re doing your weekly shop, be thankful for the fact that you can go to a store, fill your trolley up and stuff your cupboards with nice things. Half the world’s population don’t have that luxury.
All these dreaded little things can become something we actually appreciate and feel grateful for if we adopt the right attitude. Life is how you see it!
As well as learning to make the most of everyday, the same philosophy can also be applied to the various seasons of life and circumstances in which you find yourself.
Maybe you’re single and you want more than anything to be coupled up. Or you’re itching to be promoted at work, or you can’t wait to buy your first house. We think that once we get those things we will be content. The problem is, when you attach happiness to circumstances, it’s always remains around the corner, just out of reach.
What if instead you were to find contentment where you are right now?
If you’re single, starfish the bed, spend your time how you want to, and soak up all the glorious independence and freedom available to you. If you’re married, make the most of your time together before noisy demanding little people take over your world.
If you’re studying, make the most of those lie-ins and all that free time! Enjoy learning new things and meeting new people.
If you’re working, enjoy the 9 till 5 or whatever hours are yours. Enjoy the office environment and the ability to leave your work behind when you finish. If you work from home, enjoy the freedom it brings and make the most of it.
Your season will not be the same forever, and you will never get this time back.
All it takes is a little shift in perspective. Enjoy the mundane moments and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime moments. Savour the time you have, knowing that you won’t always have it. Life is but a vapour, here now and gone a moment later… so choose to enjoy it while it lasts.
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