My 20s and 30s – and a sizeable chunk of my 40s – were spent allocating far too many hours, days, weeks (and more) agonizing over matters of little import, wasting precious time, energy and mojo fixated on imperfections, minutia and Other People’s Business which only served to diminish my own standing with self.
It should be easy, intuitive even, to recognize that the less stressful path to peace of mind is best pursued not from forceful, hand-wringing, futile attempts to guide events toward a self-determined outcome but rather in accepting and responding to life’s outrageously misfortunate slings and arrows with as much dignity and resolve as we are able to muster.
Don’t like how something has turned out, unfolding in directions that are out of alignment with your own wants, needs and desires? Adapt and / or find your own way, your own path, your own happiness, your own destiny. Stop lamenting over what is and wailing (to any who will lend an ear) about how life done did you wrong.
And yet, this is difficult to do. Certainly, it’s challenging enough if one is circumspect and so able to analyze a bump in the road with calm, steely resolve but damn near impossible once you find yourself already tightly coiled (guilty as charged!) within a maelstrom of anxiety and emotions, frustration and annoyance.
A few years ago, I set a goal for myself (continuously renewed!) to try to live more in the moment, to tackle life as it comes with a quieter strength, with grace and good humor while actively seeking to live more delightfully, giving myself up to all that is good and real and lovely much as a child sees and interacts with the world. Listening to children’s laughter, watching their sense of wonder and curiosity, seeing them play with such freedom and abandon, gently reminds us of the innocence and joy we knew (or were entitled to know) when we were young.
Living delightfully – thrilling to the sight of a hawk perched on a fence post or soaring overhead, observing a lone egret, legs akimbo, standing in a marshy field, smiling at the recognition of a cardinal’s call, laughing at a shared private joke with a loved one, savoring a special meal surrounded by family and friends, enjoying the crackle and roar of a blazing fire, resting peacefully in quiet solitude after a hectic day – these experiences and others that provide immense satisfaction and peace are the lifeblood of our existence. If we don’t appreciate, cherish and relish these nuggets of happiness, we do ourselves a great disservice. I don’t know that anything is sadder than to observe someone who is merely plodding through life without enthusiasm, without gaiety, knowing no festivity or frolic, one whose life is anything but filled with comfort or warmth or cheer.
For me, I choose to live delightfully. Because otherwise, really, what is the point?