The older I get the more I realize it is truly the little things in life that make each day. It is truly the special moments and little victories that may me smile and make each day memorable.
I often hear that Americans live to work, versus much of the rest of the world, that work to live. I have really been trying to focus on the hours spent out of work lately. I still am not great at making the most out of the pre 8 a.m. and post 6:30 p.m. hours each day, but I am trying to really start thinking about how to make the most of my non-working hours. That is, until I can figure out a way to shrink those working hours even more. How can I be more motivated and energized before and after work to not fall into the nightly food and t.v. commas. How can I resist the urge to get home and put my slippers and p.j.'s on immediately? How can I maximize every moment of this wondrous life I have?
Don't get me wrong, I am not looking to be a socialite, or looking to find wealth. I am looking to find life. I am looking to find a way to continue to experience the world around me. Continue to find ways to learn and grow and give. I continue to try and find ways to be creative with my time outside of work. To maximize my life, I feel like I need to sleep less and be engaged more.
I hear so many people so focused on work, so focused on their jobs. I secretly admire these people. I still hope to someday find a career that leads me to feel this way. For the time being, however, I try to make the most of my out of work hours to ensure I can give as much as I can as sincerely and as genuinely as I can from 9-6 ish.
I have a deep desire to make a difference in the world. I have a deep desire to continue to find my place in this world and figure out how I can be most useful. I have a deep desire to learn languages, learn about world religions, history and travel. I want to truly suck all the marrow out of life--thank you Thoreau. I feel like there is so much to life. So much to get out of life. So many experiences waiting to be had and little victories lying in wait.
I can only hope that as I continue to focus on my out of work time, I will continue to find ways to maximize my experiences. I hope that I can start to find the motivation and desire to work towards achieving this life I dream of. I hope that I will begin, at some point, moving from words to actions, because words can sound spectacular, but remain only words until I find the motivation to make them a part of my daily life, not just my aspirational story.
It can seem impossible to find ways to get what I want out of those pre 8 a.m. and post 7p.m. hours. All I keep thinking is, I get home and I am so tired and it is so hard for me to wake up in the morning. Maybe I should start telling myself a new story. Maybe I should start thinking of my own little victories to get me a step closer to the life I want to live outside of work. Maybe once I get my outside work hours situated, I will find a way to align my work hours more closely to what makes me feel most at peace. Maybe once I start changing the story I tell myself this will all be more possible? I know I need to make money, I know I need to have a career of some type, I just really hope I can find a way to be my best self from 9-6 as well.
There is no reason why I cannot wake up earlier in the morning. There is no reason why I cannot do yoga in the morning. There is no reason why I cannot then read in the morning. In my best self world, I would start off each morning activating my mind, body and soul. In an ideal world, I would wake up early, do some yoga, stretch, meditate and read. Maybe even practice a foreign language, or listen to a pod cast or two. My ideal self would not be afraid of exercise, my ideal self would not feel nervous that I would pass out, or that something was wrong with me. My ideal self then would not have this morning activity and motivation freak me out and bring about anxiety. I would feel proud of this new morning routine and count it as a little victory, not a cause for concern. My ego always gets in the way and sidelines my new "better self" attempts.
This ideal self would then go to work and carry this lifted energy with me all day and smile as the little victories continue to come my way. I would find a way to get to work with no anxiety on the subway. I would continue to embrace the the crowds around me and not feel overwhelmed by my subway travel, or the constant stopping underground. I will continue to tell myself this story. I would get to work on time, to not add any stress. I would then arrive at my desk and continue to bring good flow and energy with me all day. I would actually take my lunch and perhaps even go for an afternoon walk. I would read, or listen to a podcast and actually take the hour for myself to reconnect. I wouldn't fear possible conflict and would address each action and decision with confidence.
Heading home at 6 would continue to be a wonderful time of day, but not just because I am heading home, but because I had a wonderful day. I would then head home on the subway and continue to find the beauty in my experiences and interactions on the subway. I would arrive home and find some time to expand my mind, body or spirit. I would journal, or meditate, or do some yoga and read. I would go for an evening stroll with Greg and maybe have a glass of wine. I would continue to find every opportunity to maximize my out of work hours.
I would find ways to not fear change and not take little victories as a sign that something will certainly go wrong. I would not let these changes in routine bring about anxiety, but rather, pride. I will continue to try and find ways to change my life story.
It is so much easier, to just put on my p.j.'s and zone out after work. It allows my brain to just stop and not worry about anything. When the t.v. is on, I will watch it. Sometimes my biggest fear is quiet. At the same time, I know I have said this so many times, mind, body and spirit need my love and attention. There has to be a way to have more super dooper hours during each super dooper day.
I am grateful for my life, I am grateful to each day I am given, I just need to find ways to have more little victories, to take more advantage of hours outside of work, find ways for Greg and I to explore the city more, enjoy our time together more and remind myself daily that I should be working to live, not living to work.
And that's all she wrote....