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The Joy of the in Between

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So often in life we are focused on the next step, goal, or achievement. We make plans for that future vacation, the next big purchase, or the event we can’t wait to attend. But, with all of our focus on future plans we miss out on one thing, the present. With all of our attention and happiness based on plans that are months, or years ahead, it can leave our day to day routine feeling a little mundane, lackluster, or empty.

The important thing to realize is, the things, moments, and people who surround us now, might not be here months, or years from now. So, what if we stop for a moment, shift our focus, and enjoy the present? The in between.

If you take the time to change your perspective and appreciate the now, to find the simplicity of the everyday with its sparks of good, humor, and random kindness, you might surprise yourself. You’ll pay attention to things you never noticed before, enjoy things you thought you didn’t have time for because you were too busy “planning,” and realize you are right where you are supposed to be for this moment in time. There is so much to learn and enjoy in the day to day.

For today, what if you…

  • Stopped and said hi to your neighbor instead of rushing to walk in the door.
  • Brought flowers to an elderly relative, or neighbor, who lives alone.
  • Pay it forward and treat the person behind you at your local coffee shop.
  • Spend ten minutes reading that book that has been sitting there for months.
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Walk in your local park and enjoy the fresh air.
  • Quiet your worries and concerns and think of something you are grateful for. Even if at this moment it is only one thing, at least it is something.
  • Have dinner as a family. Even if it’s spaghetti with jarred marinara sauce, it’s more about the time together and the company, rather than the meal.
  • Laugh so hard over something that it brings tears to your eyes. Often times, laughter is the best medicine.
  • Realize sometimes a bad day isn’t a bad day. It’s a bad 10 minutes. Why let 10 minutes ruin the other 1,420 minutes in your day?
  • Don’t compare. Someone else will always have more than you, and someone else will always have less, but there is no one else like you in the world. So, embrace and celebrate you.
  • Appreciate where you live. Whether you live in a 200 square foot studio, an apartment, or at home with your parents, it is a roof over your head. Many people do not have that luxury.
  • Be kind. You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes in someone’s life. Simple gestures can mean a lot to someone.
  • Write down daily one good thing that happened to you, or made you happy, and put it in a jar. At the end of the month, you will have 30 things to read that will bring a smile to your face.

Another little secret you might find is that when you stop to enjoy the present a little more, the future unfolds and happens as it’s supposed to. So, although it’s not the weekend, it’s only Thursday, and you are probably at work, take a moment to find something to enjoy and appreciate today. After all, “In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” – Sid Casear

 

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