We always hear these cliched sayings- life is a roller coaster, don’t take a single day for granted, you never know what you have until it’s gone. There are songs dedicated to it, books dedicated to it, but the message itself is simple- our time here is precious, don’t waste it. Being a naturally shrewd individual, I’ve never really listened to the message- or, I suppose, never really HEARD it, until very recently.
We lost a loved one. A young, bright spirited man with a heart of gold and a life to be lived ahead of him. When I say we, I mean it- his loving family, an entire tightly knit community in his home town, and even strangers that felt his family’s loss.
The moment I got the news, my mental state changed. All of those songs, all of those phrases, suddenly they made sense. I GOT it. Ever since that day, I’ve tried to live my live a little bit differently than before. To appreciate the small moments, to reflect on everything that I have, and to celebrate life each and every day. Here’s how I’ve made a few minor alterations to do just that:
1. Taken 10 extra minutes in the morning to eat breakfast at home. This sounds silly, but it’s a big change for me. With my crazy work schedule, breakfast normally consists of me scarfing down avocado toast from a paper plate during my drive to the office. Now, even if I’m running behind, I take an extra 10 minutes out of my morning and eat breakfast at home. at the table. I don’t rush, I don’t scroll through my phone- i simply sit, eat and enjoy the moment. Sounds small, but starting the day off like this really sets the tone.
2. Write a letter each month to someone who has impacted me. One of my favorite Ted Talks video’s discusses the concept of “lollipop moments”; moments in our life that may seem insignificant to others, but that have impacted us in a big way. This idea always resonated with me, but I never went the extra mile of sharing my own moments with the people involved, thanking them for the impact they had on my life even though they may not have realized it. This month, I vowed to write one letter each month to thank someone for a “lollipop moment’ they’ve given me.
3. Start the day off with a quote. I ordered this book, and every morning I start the day off with a different quote. Some of them speak directly to my soul, others are so banal that I roll my eyes. But starting the day off with some words of wisdom feels humbling and grounding- it makes me realize that the world is so much larger and more significant than whatever’s going on in my life at that moment.
Someone once told me that life is hard. I disagree- I think life is messy, it’s unpredictable and it’s never exactly linear, but more than anything else it’s truly a gift. Take a moment to figure out what you can do to celebrate your life daily, because at the end of the day, it’s all we’ve got.