There are a few traps in life I tend to get stuck in.
One that plagues me often and leaves me feeling guilty, frustrated, and weak is the assumption that my life should look a certain way at any given time. That I’d be happier, more fulfilled, if X, Y, or Z occurred.
It’s an ugly place to live, never really looking at what’s right in front of you and instead focusing on what could be. The “what ifs” of life only serve to drive you insane, they very rarely keep you warm and loved.
So why do we get sucked into this endless mind warp? I think for me, I get caught up in daydreaming when my life hits a snag. I push away the pain or stress happening at the moment and envision a life where everything goes right. I’m successful, a size two, have mind-blowing sex each night, my house is always spotless, I drive a Porsche, I have a Southern Living style home on 1.5 acres overlooking a pristine lake chalk full of fat fish…
I mean I could go on and on. But is that reality? Hellz no. And I’m not here to say that you can’t work toward your dreams, work for everything you desire in life, but it shouldn’t overshadow the here and now.
And I’m guilty of slipping into this crappy habit multiple days a week.
“If only I was twenty pounds lighter…”
“If only I could live…”
“If only I figured out what I wanted to be when I grow up earlier…”
Blah. Sometimes my mind is really an annoying hag. It’s time to switch my mindset. It’s time to realize that happiness is realizing that what you have at this moment is enough. I am enough. You are enough. We can still kick ass every day and work toward our life dreams without losing sight of the pleasant life right in front of us.
Today, I am refocusing my appreciation. I’m making lists. I’m attempting to ignore the “what if/if only” monster breathing down my neck.
What do you appreciate most about your life right now?
Here’s my list.
Even though the man seems completely unaware what a dishwasher is, and even though I go into Target for tampons and come out with three new sets of pens, four candles, a pretty gift bag (no party in sight), a pack of post-it notes (because, duh, I’m a writer), a new dress, travel bag, two books, and last but not least, no tampons, Jimmy and I have a pretty happy marriage. We make each other laugh and we’re a darn good team.
I have a wonderful literary agent (and assistant) who believes in my book and my future as a writer.
A group of girlfriends who make an effort to come together and celebrate life’s treasured moments. We all insist on wearing pajamas to one another’s bridal showers, baby showers, and birthdays, and what could be better than that?
A wonderful family who takes time out of their busy schedules to drive to Dallas and visit Jimmy and me. A niece and nephew who love their Auntie and Uncle Jimby. Ridiculous laughter and inappropriate behavior. Strawberry rhubarb pie. Fires in the backyard.
A cuddly puppers. My fluffy boyfriend. My faithful companion.
My talented writing group who makes me laugh, supports my every move whether it's producing wonderful chapters or staring for endless hours at a blinking cursor, and listens to all my anxieties and insecurities.
A fantastic book that leaves you thinking about its pages and author days after put it down. I just finished reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I’ve always been a bit of a true crime junkie, and I was quickly swept into Michelle’s fabulous writing and dedicated research concerning the Golden State Killer. Michelle tragically passed away before finishing the book, and, even as a complete stranger, I mourn her death. She seems like the neatest person, and I would have loved to read her future works.
There’s an endless list of big and small things I am appreciating these days, but this is a start.
How about you? What are you refocusing your appreciation on? What cheers you up?
Let me know!
Until next time,