Bookworm alert: I recently just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. If you haven’t read it yet, you should absolutely take a quick peek…or devour all 292 pages. You choose. Although it’s completely out of my comfort zone, once I really dove in, there were quite a few things in this book that kept me thinking long after I was done with the last chapter. Along with several other insightful theories and realizations (I can’t give it all away – go read it yourself!), there was one thing that really stuck out to me.
“When I find myself focusing too much on the anticipated future happiness of arriving at a certain goal, I remind myself to ‘Enjoy now.’ If I can enjoy the present, I don’t need to count on the happiness that is (or isn’t) waiting for me in the future.”
What jumped out at you the most? For me, it was “enjoy now.”
This is something I’ve always struggled with; something I say I’m going to work on, but never actually succeed in doing. Sometimes I’ll focus so much on something I want that tunnel vision will block out everything else around me. I’ve taught myself to never get my hopes up when something good is happening, for fear that something bad will follow. I worry that things I want later on might not happen, so “right now” doesn’t matter. Forever thinking about what’s to come, and being oblivious to what’s happening.
We all get so caught up in the future; what we want to obtain and what our goals are…but we’re so busy focusing on the end result that we don’t even think to enjoy the present. Okay, so you got what you wanted. You ran a marathon, received a promotion, got a new car. Now what? If you don’t embrace the moment – feel the pain in your chest of the crisp short breaths, the suspense of waiting for that phone call with a job offer, or inhale the smell of your new leather seats – the novelty soon wears off and when it does, you’re left without the memories that got you there.
It’s like taking a cross country road trip to a specific destination, and never looking out the window.
Open your eyes.
I don’t want to miss a thing. I don’t want to look back and realize that I was too busy looking forward to the great things, that I missed the amazing things happening right in front of me.
We can’t wait to buy our first house. Right now, I’m relishing living in our cozy apartment that was our sons first home. The place where we brought him back from the hospital, where he took his first steps, and where we walked the halls at 3am to get him back to sleep. Where we used every hiding spot possible to play hide & seek, and had three magical Christmas mornings together. Instead of complaining about how we need more space or don’t have a backyard, we’re taking full advantage of having every amenity we could possibly need right in walking distance, and not having to worry whenever an appliance breaks. We’re having so much fun looking at houses for our little family and trying not to rush the time we have left. Instead, we’re making memories to look back on one day in the place where it all began.
We’re looking forward to expanding our family and giving Weston a sibling (mostly so he can stop begging.) Right now, I’m soaking up every single second of having my one baby all to myself. I’m enjoying spending quality time with him, just the two of us. Whether we’re out on a wild adventure or at home playing with toy cars on the floor all day, I love experiencing this undivided time together. A good friend once told me, “You’ll only ever have one child ONCE.” – and they were right. I can’t get this time back. Soon enough, we’ll have two (or more) kids running around the house, demanding all of my attention…and although I will love it in an entirely different way, I will miss these fleeting moments.
I’m so excited to start my career as a Postpartum Doula. Right now, I’m loving this opportunity to study and gain knowledge in order to make that dream a reality. I had no idea how much I missed certain aspects of going to school, and I’m genuinely fascinated by reading, researching, absorbing information and learning about this job. It fills me with so much gratification knowing that I found my true passion in life. When I’m fully trained and certified, I will be doing something I love by helping women, their new babies and families transition into their new life…but I know that I will look back and feel a sense of pride, remembering the hard work and dedication that got me there.
I’m so incredibly blessed. Though there are many dark hours, there are twice as many hours of light that bring pure joy to my life. I don’t want to be guilty of not appreciating that while I have it.
So often, we’re looking ahead at what’s next that we’re not looking at what’s right in front of our eyes. Accomplishing the goal isn’t the best part. Striving to accomplish it; setting a goal and then working to make it happen. Now that’s the best part. Enjoy putting in the effort and taking the steps to achieve that goal, because that’s what’s happening right now…and it will never come back.
I’m finally learning to enjoy the ride. Every bump, every wrong turn. I’m taking in the scenery and loving the company. We will get to our destination eventually. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get there and realize it wasn’t everything we imagined it to be. But the journey along the way? That will have been worth every second.
Don’t rush life and demand that it speed up. Wish for it to slow down. There was a time in my life when I wished for all the things I have now. I could have saved myself so much time had I just learned to open my eyes and experience what was going on in front of them. All the things I want will be there waiting for me one day. I don’t know if they’ll come tomorrow, next week, or 5 years from now…but they’ll come as they’re meant to. And I will embrace those gifts with open arms, knowing that I appreciated every season that passed. Sometimes the beauty is in the waiting.
Live in the moment. Trust the process. Look out the window. Enjoy now.