A lot of people these days worry about growing old and looking back on their lives with regret. I’m thirty and I already do actually – to an extent and not in a way that you would expect. You see, if we spend our lives delaying happiness, waiting for the next goal to be achieved and not being present, we miss a lot of opportunities to create happiness now – which makes happy memories for later.
I struggled with Depression in my late teens - early twenties and now I look back and I have nothing from that time.
Sure I do have a few good memories, I learned a lot of valuable lessons and it's totally understandable I didn't feel like documenting my life back then, but it feels like years lost really - which is sad. But that being said, the lesson I learned from this has been absolutely invaluable. Let me explain.
A Personal Story
I was in an unhappy relationship for quite a few years. I realise now that I have next to no photos from those times. I stopped singing and doing anything because I had depression at the time. Now all of that is kind of understandable given what was going on. The last thing you feel like doing when you are down in the dumps is take “happy snap” photos lol.
But it taught me a valuable lesson: You can lose years so easily by not looking for the good in any situation. I have good memories from those times, but I never took the opportunity to feel grateful for them, document them and embrace them.
What’s worse, I seem to fall into that trap easily without recognising it (There’s another New Year Resolution for you… well me!). And I'm not being hard on myself and I don't think you should either, but what I did gain from those few years lost, is many years enjoyed and embraced.
A lot of us have goals, but you shouldn’t wait for them to be achieved before you are grateful. Most of us, despite what’s going on in our lives can find something. During one of my darkest times in my life I would go outside and feel the sun and wind on my face and close my eyes, just to feel that sensation.
You will always have goals, and when you accept that success is a journey not a destination, it helps you pull back and appreciate life in the moment.
Yes Life Has Seasons
I do believe in the seasons of life – but we don’t want to live in a perpetual winter. I know a lot of amazing women who spend so much time constantly investing in their health, education, finances etc, but just before coming to a point of cashing in their returns, something inside of them pulls them short and either they sabotage it or become fearful and then go back into that time of investment again.
Never reaping the benefits of say your education for example really sucks. I know! This is why it’s so important to still appreciate life even when you are in times of investment. You need to allow yourself to move into times of reaping the rewards for your labour.
Is there something stopping you from reaping the goodness you have been sowing?
Something to think about :)
Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams, Just Find That Balance
You can work hard and hustle but still be present. One thing I’ve been learning about from My Business Mentors was that our dreams of an ideal day isn’t that far achievable from what we are doing right now.
They taught me that even though this is a time of investment for greater things, you shouldn’t neglect your mind, body, relationships or family etc. You should never forget why you set out on you started on your road in the first place and embrace each and every day no matter where you are in your journey.
Take Advantage Of Technology
I remember in the 90s it use to be a thing to giggle at the Asian tourists and their cameras… until we worked out they had the right idea and started doing it ourselves. These days we have really good cameras just on our phones, and Instagram is free too.
You don’t have to post on there publicly, but it’s a great option to make a private profile and take a photo a day of something you are grateful for – friends, family, books, gardening, time off… even a good day at work or a cup of coffee! The point of the exercise is to bring you into the moment and show your mind what you have to be grateful for.
As a parent, I know how fast my daughter grows, and I have a massive amount of pictures from some years, and a lot less from others. It makes me sad actually that I got slack – there are so many little things we don’t remember.
Or You Could Try…
Scrapbooking if you are into it instead of Instagram.. or both if you like haha. Having a creative outlet is super important to our wellbeing and scrapbooking use to be a big thing. I know personally I can suck at those sorts of things, but with practice it gets wwaaayyyy better (goodness if you saw my first website you’d cringe! Practice Practice!)
The whole point of this is so that you can look back on your life and remember the good. We all seem to be running around like headless chooks these days trying to do it all, be it all and have it all.
It’s so important to stop, smell the roses and be grateful for all that you are, and all that you have. Life will never be perfect and we shouldn’t expect it or us to be. Live and love each and every moment that you are given.
You are beautiful as you are right now.