Most days I find myself trying to gather all the energy I can, pump coffee into my body, and dive into work using sheer will power to get all that I need done. I think most of us find ourselves in that place, the place that we have to find a way to push through the hard days, which always seem to outnumber the good ones. And while vacations are great and may fuel us up to push through a few weeks, we all can end up so easily back in the same apathetic place that all we want to do is go through the motions.
A few years ago I had a friend named send me “Anna Quindlen’s Commencement Address at Villanova”. I encourage you to go read the whole thing, but there is something in that address that struck me and I have gone back to time and time again when life just seems to be a bit more draining than it should be.
Quindlen says, that it’s time we got a life, time we focused a little less on the next paycheck or larger house, and a little more on admiring the view around us. She challenges us to stop long enough to smell the flowers, and watch a bird fly, rather than chasing after the next promotion. To remember how important it is to pick up the phone and call those you love, and to give hugs that show you really care. To choose to live generously and always remember we are learning and growing.
As I think about this there is this gentle peace that allows me to breathe just a little more than I was before. This feeling that encourages me to focus a little less on all that I have to do to reach my goals, and focus a little more on the moment I have to admire the people around me.
Processed with VSCO with t1 presetLife is the best thing there is, I truly believe that. But I think to enjoy all that life offers, we have to step out of the comfort of routine, and embrace the moments that are easy to let pass my. We have to be willing to listen first and then speak, and choose to take a minute and admire the view rather than walking right by so that we can always be “productive”. We have to be willing to take a little time off to jump in the ocean, and sit with someone long enough to really get to know them.
While working an 80 hour week may land you a bigger paycheck, I am not convinced that it makes you successful. I know that at the end of the day I feel best when I did things that mattered and impacted those around me, not when I just got more work done.
Getting a life takes sacrifice, because it requires us to re-adjust our priorities. Choosing to let work go once and a while to show the people you care about how much you love them. You may have to accept a smaller paycheck so you can choose to help those in need. It may even mean that you have to give up some of the time watching your favorite show, to sit outside with the family. But once we get it, once we catch a glimpse of how beautiful life is, I think it will change the way we live. We will find more moments that we laugh until we cry, and less moments we worry about making ends meet. We will be a little more willing to fall in love, and worry a little less about getting hurt. We will enjoy the still moments and be able to sit quietly longer, and find a greater peace to simply be who we were created to be.
We can only power through for so long, at some point we have to accept that we are humans and we need to fill up our souls to continue to get through this crazy ride called life. The challenge in choosing to get a life is that it means we shift our focus to love moments, rather than accomplishments. That we focus a little less on applause and a little more on relationship. And that we never forget that life, is the most beautiful thing there is, and meant to be enjoyed…not completed.
“GET A LIFE IN WHICH YOU ARE NOT ALONE. FIND PEOPLE YOU LOVE, AND WHO LOVE YOU. AND REMEMBER THAT LOVE IS NOT LEISURE, IT IS WORK. EACH TIME YOU LOOK AT YOUR DIPLOMA, REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE STILL A STUDENT, STILL LEARNING HOW TO BEST TREASURE YOUR CONNECTION TO OTHERS. PICK UP THE PHONE. SEND AN E-MAIL. WRITE A LETTER. KISS YOUR MOM. HUG YOUR DAD. GET A LIFE IN WHICH YOU ARE GENEROUS.”
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