My husband and I have had this sort of motto for how we like to live life, "Living Life More" we call it, we even have/had a blog we aptly named after our motto. This post is one I wrote in early 2017 for that blog, but now it belongs here as part of our story, part of our journey.
Some days I wonder about myself. I wonder about my husband. I wonder if we are the only ones with this weird tendency to live our lives like we are on some sort of roller coaster. It seems like we get just where we want to be only to have something then distract us from the beauty of what we have.
Two years and 4 months ago we took our then 16, 13, and 9 year old children, uprooted them from everything they knew in CO to go on an adventurous move to paradise. A place where people save all year just to go on vacation, a place where the weather is beautiful and you can be outside most of the year, a place where the palm trees grow, and the beaches are always just a few minutes away. And while one child hated the idea, one was at least open minded, and one was ready for the adventure, we felt in our hearts it was right. We had this tug, this knowing that we must follow this path to FL.
It is paradise here. It is all I hoped and more. We have a beautiful little home with a pool! Are you serious? A Pool!! We live a 15 minute drive to one of the most beautiful beaches here. We live a short walk to beautiful views of where the bay and a river meet and we have beautiful nature trails within just a mile of our home. And yet, just a little over two years into our adventure there is discontentment. One of us dreaming of the next place and the next adventure, ready to run and the other just wishing this place could be even better, “if only….”. Today, this makes me sick. And we are the only ones who can change it/us.
I had a moment this morning. You ever had one? Like a hard slap upside the head from God, saying “wake up dummy, look around you, be HERE. Quit looking back, quit finding reasons to be discontent and start living NOW.” Therein lies the adventure, being present, living NOW. The next will always come, unless of course it doesn’t; in which case you have died and your next is your eternity. So for today I am alive and here is what my heart spoke to me today as I was riding my bike to take my youngest son to his bus stop.
“Jenny, you are ONLY almost 40, maybe not even half way through life, and of that first 40 you spent some of it learning how to feed yourself, walk, talk, do math, make friends, love, etc… you have plenty of time on your side.” ” Jenny, your almost 12 year old loves for you to ride to the bus stop with him, and he WANTS to hug you before you leave him at the stop, do you know how lucky you are that your youngest child hasn’t quit wanting to show you love yet?” “Jenny, you have your husband and three children alive and healthy to show love to, not everyone has that.” As I rode my bike down the road with small mansions lining the beautiful river/bay and glimpsing through the spaces at their beautiful view, “Jenny, do you realize you live one mile from all you ever dreamed of in a place to live? Look how close you are, look how far you have come already and you still have so much life to live!” As I stood at the edge of the water and watched a sail boat pass peacefully by me, “Jenny, embrace your beautiful life, even the parts that feel like disaster.” “Jenny, get off the f***ing roller coaster, quit waiting for the next adrenaline rush, quit waiting for the bottom to drop out, quit being terrified of the next turn on the very ride you put yourself on; put your feet on the ground, take a deep breath and look around you at your paradise, just start truly living.”
There is a difference between status quo, going through the motions, ho-hum drudgery from day to day and being in your space, embracing your gifts, and making each day beautifully part of your life story. Living Life More doesn’t necessarily mean going somewhere different or exotic, traveling to all ends of the earth, it can include that for sure. Living Life More doesn’t mean living in a constant state of dreaming about the next adventure while missing the very beauty of the life you have today, but it can mean living in positive, curious expectation. Living Life More doesn’t mean everything has reached perfection and now you can breathe a sigh of relief because you finally arrived. Living Life More means being present, embracing love for yourself and all other beings, accepting difficulty or pain as a chance to grow and learn, giving of yourself without expectation of return, having hopes and dreams WHILE living in a constant state of gratitude for this day, this place, this moment, this life.
Now, if I can just hold onto this knowledge and live it out….. 🙂