“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?” – Unknown
Much of our life is made up of ordinary moments. Eating, brushing our teeth, walking, cleaning, sleeping, bathing, running errands, taking out the trash, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, driving the kids to school, doing homework, and on and on and on.
The bigger, less ordinary, moments in life like getting married, reaching the top of your career, graduating college, moving across country, buying your dream home, among other grand achievements, happen with less frequency. When we live our entire life neglecting ordinary moments because our mind is too busy chasing after peak moments, we fail to enjoy the entirety of our life experience. Like a hamster running on a wheel, we fervently chase, chase, chase the next moment because right now, just as we are, is not quite enough.
All too often I catch myself feeling frustrated because right now my apartment is too small. Right now, I have debt to still take care of. Right now, I am not at the top of my career. Right now, I am not exactly where I wish I were. So what do I do? I spend time neglecting my ordinary moments chasing after the next moment. I beat myself up and don’t feel good in the here and now. This state of mind blocks me from seeing the beauty in the ordinary. It inhibits me from realizing that although I am not yet experiencing the bigger, more defining moments of my life, it does not mean that my life isn’t already big and momentous in and of itself in the present.
Each day, I realize more clearly how important it is to my wellbeing to simply enjoy the journey without getting worked up about the destination. Life is not about chasing moments, though it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of chasing. It is easy to get stuck in not feeling enough because right now you are just not there yet. The funny thing is, there is no there – there is only, always, here and now. It is always in the now moment that we will experience anything, ever. To live a happy and satisfied life, we must carry happiness and satisfaction with us in both the everyday standard moments as well as the bigger more rewarding moments. If we place our happiness on any future desire then most of our days will be gloomy because we will always have more average days than peak days. We will always be waiting for happiness to happen in some future time while our present suffers. It is in the here and now that we have to find our joy. It is in the ordinary that we have to see the extraordinary. It is in taking out the trash, washing the dishes, walking the dog, driving the kids to school, brushing our teeth, washing our hands, doing the laundry, walking to work, and all the other little things that we have to participate in with joy. The joy we experience in the extraordinary is the same joy we can carry with us when experience the ordinary. Life will be joyous not just because of the great things you will achieve, but it will be joyous because YOU in and of yourself are great and joyous. Feel it! 🙂
Lost and Found
Some days it feels like nothing goes my way. My jacket zipper gets stuck. I miss the train by seconds. I travel far for a project that doesn’t pan out. My hair gets brutally tangled in my necklace. I glance at the clock and suddenly I’m running late. I blindly sit on someone’s spilled coffee. A stranger’s bad breath poorly concealed by minty gum is blown towards my face. It takes the cashier 5 painful minutes to return me my change.
Is the world against me? Or am I moving too quickly and have missed the lesson here?
I watch other people pass me by and wonder if their life is easier. Maybe their zippers never get stuck.
I start thinking that if maybe I was someone else then misfortune would somehow escape me.
I know it’s ridiculous to think this – but I do it anyway. Then I come here and write about it.
Then I get over it and come back to the moment.
I play tug of war with the now and my rambling mind. The endless commentary in my head seems to win most of the battles. Yet even in the chaos of my inner world I arrive at luxurious moments of peace.
Then it’s lost again.
I realize it’s not about how many times I fall but how quickly I get up, beat the thick brown dust off my warrior body and keep on truckin’.
Truck, truck, truckin’.
Truck, truck, truckin’.
Just never gonna stop.