Everyday is a gift, I really have come to believe and see that. Not in some generic “happy-clappy” sort of way, but in an honest sort of way.
This summer has been good. We always have different expectations for summer, based on what we’re told it should look like, or even sometimes based on previous summer experiences. I always find myself hoping to have a similar summer to Ryan Gosling and Rachel Macadams in The Notebook, but so far that hasn’t happened. It always ends up a bit less dramatic than theirs.
I really do feel as if I have learned a lot this summer. If you know me personally, you know that I am extremely big goal oriented, and am always pushing myself towards something outside of myself. For those of you who know and enjoy the Enneagram personality test (I’m not one of those), I am a 3. Basically that means that I am driven by success and making a global impact, but can rely too heavily on the opinions of others while i’m trying to get there.
All that said, I have a tendency to never really settle into the present moment. The present is cool and all, but until I’m President of the United Nation and have 14 Grammy’s, I don’t see the point. It is hard for me to be okay with who I am right now, and with my experience of the world around me right now. This is not altogether bad, as it keeps me moving forward and settling is something I simply will not do. Conversely, it has caused me to miss a lot of the beauty of the people and things in my life today, when I’ve been too invested in planning for the greatness of tomorrow.
Somehow, that has shifted this summer. Not in the sense that I no longer have the desire for great impact in our culture, because I do. If I die without significantly positively impacting the world’s culture at large I will feel like I failed. But, I have seen a massive shift this summer in seeing the beauty of every day. I have learned that the sweetness of life is really in the present, and it is really in learning to savor the moment. I say learning because it is not easy. It is rather a self discipline to remain in “the now,” and to not only be here mentally but to eat the fruit of the day.
Let me tell you, for all of my “3’s” on the Enneagram out there, remaining present is worth the work it takes. I have never enjoyed life more than I do right now. It is not as if my circumstances are so great and easy that I am simply taking it all in. Rather, I am truly conscious every day to realize that today is all that I have, and although I want to work hard, I almost must take time to stop and smell the roses.
It is hard for me to put this practice into words, because it is more experienced than it is articulated. For me it really looks like starting my mornings slow, and savoring every interaction I have. Personally, I am not a morning person. I am usually pretty irritated in the morning, and don’t like talking. So, I don’t talk. But what I do is take everything moment by moment, being thankful that I have each moment to enjoy even if I’m feeling irritated by all the words “morning people” use at the crack of dawn.
Not everyone in the world had the privilege of waking up today, but you did. If you are still here on planet earth, it is a gift. Not a gift to waste away in anguish, but a gift to take in one breath at a time. I know that is far easier said than done, but start trying to make that shift. I promise you, abundant living day to day is possible, all through your perspective of what is in front of you. Keep your goals, your dreams, your hopes, but never forget to feast on the wonder that is every moment, because moments are all we will ever get.