My life is busy. I think most of us feel that way. I rationalize it in different ways, to make it ok, until a loved one makes a comment and then I realize I might need to slow down. It especially has weight when it’s your grandmother. I know she has seen her father, her husband, her kids and grandkids go down the same path. She said it so lovingly that an onlooker might have missed it. I know her charms. I also know when she is doling out worry. It was just a gentle nudge but it is all I needed to get to thinking about things. Over the last couple of days and many hours in the car, I’ve boiled it down to five simple things that will allow me to live life and have no regrets.
Say What You Mean-
People don’t get to know you when you are always holding your tongue, bottling up your true feelings. If someone has hurt you, let them know. If you don’t agree, say so. Speak up for the wrongs in life and celebrate the right. In all these things you will now be saying, do it with politeness and humility.
Have Close Friends-
Everyone needs someone to talk to. In a time of crisis you need to talk at some point. In times of joy you need to celebrate with someone. There will be times where you just need someone to sit with you. No talking. Just sitting. You also need to be able to reciprocate all of these for that person. A true close friend will know all of your skeletons and you know theirs. You will love each other without judgment.
Stop Working So Hard-
If you miss out on your children’s youth, don’t expect to get it back when they are adults. Those long hours at the office, to make an extra bonus or get a promotion, do nothing to develop your relationship with the ones you are supposed to love the most. I know working hard to provide nicer things is a parent’s nature. I struggle with it too. I want my kids to have a bigger house, nicer clothes, go to the best schools but at what cost? Taking a vacation creates memories with them that will live on forever. So does having dinner without Daddy every night.
Chase Your Dreams-
What’s your dream? What do you really want to do? It doesn’t have to be a profession. It could be a trip, an adventure, an accomplishment. Do you have a bucket list? Start working on that. Cross those items off. The beauty of a bucket list is if you complete it, you can create a new one! Don’t wait until you’re given two weeks left to live to try to go skydive. Don’t wait until 85 to learn to play the violin. Take chase!
Be Happy in the Now-
If you think having a bigger house, a nicer car, and the best lawn on the block will make you happy, you’re wrong. Striving to get those things will cause you to work too hard, miss out on your kids, give up on dreams and have few friends who really know you. Enjoy the fact that you have a car and are making ends meet. There are many who aren’t. Enjoy the $4 heat and eat lunch you’re eating. Many are hungry. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet and a computer. That makes you a rarity in the world. I am a spoiled American and I need to realize I have more than 99.9% of the world and I am considered Middle Class in the US. I need to be happy and quit lusting for more things. I need to take my own damn advice for once. Things are great but if I am not happy in the now, I’m doing it wrong.