The commencement of another year, the completion of the last - hopes and possibilities and a chance to do things differently.
Do you spend time thinking how to improve on the last year and make this year bigger, better and more rewarding?
I have to admit, I have fallen into that narrative all too quickly, so I gave myself a moment of pause to reflect on what it means to be 'better' this year...to improve on the last and to leave 'that' behind?
Yes, there are some life experiences that need to be left behind (or accepted) and perhaps give ourselves that much needed burst of motivation and say it will be better next year. We can, however, also embrace all that is just part of our 'ordinary' lives, and choose to experience them in an 'extraordinary' way. Learning to be present, and sharing with life long friends can remind us that to have a better year is sometimes as simple as changing our perspective, not on 'what' we do, but 'how' we do it.
I just returned from a 2 week break, having had (as many of you have also had), a full year of varied experiences and I could honestly say, I felt weary towards the back end of 2022. My dearest and longest standing girlfriend had invited me to her home many months ago and finally the time had arrived to enjoy her hospitality.
As we arrived at her beach house, we were greeted with big smiles, our puppies meeting for the first time (Tilly only being 1 had not met her 'Aunti' and this was their first 'nose meet and greet'). As I stepped out of the car, we embraced, hugged and giggled like a couple of school girls and then got ourselves settled in.
So here is what we did for 2 weeks:
If you consider 'what' I did on my vacation, you could say it was 'uneventful', in so much, we didn't do anything 'extraordinary', we did however, do many 'ordinary' things, day in and day out, which we executed with a sense of celebration, which made the entire vacation, extraordinary.
It was the best holiday I have had in years.
So what made it so special?
I was with a friend where I could just be myself and we celebrated being in the moment, enjoying simple things without expectation.
We did all those things that we do in our normal lives, like sleep, eat, and just enjoy nature...which frankly, is something that we all can do, in one form or another, which doesn’t cost any more than our everyday life…we all have to eat and sleep right? So why not make it an 'event'? Why not be present, in the moment, being mindful and give ourselves permission in our everyday 'ordinary' life, to experience those routine things, in an 'extraordinary' way?
Which lens are you looking through right now? Look at what you do have, not what you don't have.
Find the joy in the simple acts of life, like that coffee or beverage of choice - find meaning in being, find solace in you!
I gave myself permission to do the 'extraordinary' with the 'ordinary' and allowed myself to be present daily, with no guilt about leaving the thoughts about returning to work, the jobs of the future, exactly where they belonged, which was when I got back from vacation.
Now to bring a little of the vacation 'extraordinary' to my everyday life...off to have that coffee whilst overlooking the water, with my puppy!