10 Oct How to Live and Experience More Pt. 1
When Jensen and I moved to Orlando I remember saying to him I wanted us to LIVE more, to get out in nature, go on more hikes, go camping, have more beach days, bikes rides and allow more time for the things that we love. I had felt like our time in Miami had flown by and not entirely because we were having so much fun and doing so many things but because everyday seemed exactly the same, there wasn’t a whole lot of variation. We lived in Miami for a little over a year and I can probably count on my hands how many pleasure bike rides we went on or how many beach days we had. And yes, we were only living 10 blocks from the beach! Walking distance, a 5 minute bike ride away… And yet we could never find the time to go?! Why does this happen? Why do we get so caught up in our daily routines that even breaking that routine for an hour seems overwhelming? I couldn’t articulate this then but I understand it now. Time management has always been a struggle for me and because of that I became an obsessive clock watcher. Instead of just looking away and being productive or going out and having fun, I would count the minutes I had left wherever I was. I would create this narrative in my head that I need to leave the beach by 4:15pm so I have enough time to shower and cook dinner by 7pm and then watch a movie by 8pm and on and on. I mean does it really matter if I shower by a certain time or that I’m on the couch watching a movie by another when I have no appointments to make and no one else I’m accountable for? No it does not. So why make my days off a self induced stress party watching every minute go by and enjoying none of it?
Those are all the questions I asked myself when we began to pack up our things and prepare for the next place we would call home. They kept repeating in my head over and over. It is such a cliche but it took until those last few weeks living in Miami, sitting there realizing that I was no longer going to live a bike ride away from the beach to recognize how much living I had missed out on. I sat and thought about this on the long road trips we had for the next few weeks and while I’ve always said one of the best ways to learn is from the mistakes of others, this was one that I had to experience myself to learn. Maybe because I had too closely carried the mantra “Work now, play later”. I thought I didn’t have the right to enjoy things because I wasn’t working hard enough yet or I wasn’t successful enough yet. I now know the ridiculousness of this. It is possible to enjoy life every step of the way, even when you are growing or struggling or you just aren’t where you want to be and you don’t have to sacrifice your growth or success to do so. In fact, this accelerates everything. It has not cost us a penny to go for a bike ride on Monday nights, or spend an hour at the pool in the morning. It costs very little to go camping for the weekend, or to drive an hour to a new beach we’ve never been to. And afterwords it doesn’t feel so bad to sit down at my computer for an hour and get some work done, in fact I feel better. Having these little experiences of LIVING a little more is what makes life good. It is what allows me to put 100% into my work without stress or worry or regret. My mind won’t wander to what I wish I could be doing, instead I am able to let myself be present. This is what I like to call my “sweet spot”. When I am in my sweet spot I am in the perfect experience of work and pleasure, of planning and being present, of having fun but still meeting discomfort. This sweet spot looks different for everyone but in the simplest way it means you are living in balance. For some balance is more time outdoors or time with family. For others it means time at home, maybe an extra hour of sleep on Sundays or being able to drink your cup of coffee while it’s still hot. What is most important is that it isn’t just a priority it is a necessity. It is more than okay to make less commitments to yourself and to others, it is okay to clear the calendar and start over putting yourself front and center letting everything else follow. The best way to live a life in your sweet spot is not to wait for a week here and a week there, it is to make this your LIFESTYLE. LIVE in your sweet spot 365 days a year.