OK, so today is my birthday.
When you wake up on your birthday, you think about your life perhaps a little more than normal.
“Am I doing things right?”
“Am I being my best self?”
“Am I making a difference?”
“Why am I getting out of bed when there is still a 5 on the clock?”
These are some of the thoughts that rolled through my mind between turning off my alarm and my feet hitting the floor.
I thought today I would just let some of my thoughts slip out into the world. I hope there is some value in them.
What Are You Going To Do?
I have not been on top of my writing lately, and I need to correct that. I have been working on another project that has been consuming my attention. It’s been fun and I feel really good about it, but I’ve realized that I am feeling lopsided.
I think we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis questions to challenge our current state. What I mean is that we can all too easily fall into ruts and routines that, while not bad, can keep us from even greater good.
I know that for me, it’s easier to stick with what’s comfortable than to push myself to do other things. When I catch myself doing that I force myself to make at least minor adjustments to keep myself from putting on blinders and ignoring the world around me.
I was once taught that we should learn to do hard things. I feel that is some of the most valuable advice I was ever taught. When we force ourselves to do hard things, we are pushing out own limits and forcing ourselves to grow. That is good. Life is all about growth and progress.
Do hard things!
Grow, But Learn to Be Content?
Several years ago I decided I wanted to mix things up for my family, so I bought a pair of pygmy goats. They were stinking adorable. They were small enough that my kids could play with them and even ride on their backs. We had a lot of fun with those goats.
We had half an acre of land with lots of room to roam and plants to eat, so the goats were in heaven. (I had no idea they would eat a rose bush!)
I made sure the goats had everything they needed to enjoy a carefree life. One of them was rebellious however, and he constantly escaped the yard and got out into the neighborhood.
I eventually had to begin putting this goat on a tie-out leash whenever we left so he wouldn’t get out and cause problems. He hated it. He would fight against the leash forcefully. I didn’t like having to do it, but I felt it was for his own good.
Sadly, one day he fought too hard against the tie-out leash and he broke his own neck. It was a very sad day.
As I was explaining to my children about what happened and why, I had to discuss that sometimes we can make our own lives harder by not accepting all the good that we have already been blessed with.
Now, I realize it might seem like I am contradicting myself here. I just got done saying that we should not be too settled and should mix things up occasionally, and now I am saying we should be happy with what we have. Let me go a little deeper.
This contradiction is the beauty of life. It’s a constant dance, trying to find the right balance of gratitude for what you have, while always looking ahead for a brighter future.
That is life. That’s what makes it so exciting and fun… the learning, the figuring it out, and the growing from your experience.
My Birthday Wish
I have been thinking a lot today about what I want my next year of life to look like. I have a lot of big goals. I expect to accomplish many great things. I hope though, that through it all, I also make time for more of the little things.
I want to spend more time rolling around on the floor playing silly games with my children. I want to take more walks where I just enjoy being outside with nothing to do. I want to make more memories that don’t have anything to do with worldly accomplishments or recognition. I want to care more about the small stuff that makes my life unique.
My wish is that I can be successful at this, and that hopefully you can too. I have already let too much time pass with regret and missed moments. Time to stop and enjoy my life that’s happening.
With a little luck, I will have a few more smiles and laughs to remember this next year. Heaven knows we can all use it.
Question: When was the last time you stopped and appreciated your life? What did you learn from that experience? Leave a comment below.