It’s the big goals in life that are often the easiest to focus on. We work and we strive to gain the validation of becoming new things, and obtaining new parts, and pieces of our lives, but in all of this striving and obtaining, and the occasional clawing we do to get to the top there are so many everyday things that are lost, and unless they are remembered and cherished we’ll all just pass right by them on the way to our next big things.
It has not been as easy to stop and be a part of my own life as I thought it would be. I always thought I was my own life, but recently I realized that I’ve been missing so much of what makes up my everyday. Consumed by my latest aspirations and my no so sunny optimism I found myself feeling rather dark and gloomy, and after moping about the house for longer than I would like to admit it struck me and I had to asked myself
where was the beauty in the world?
Where was the beauty in me?
and why couldn’t I see it anymore?
I was determined to turn it around to find happiness in my own world, in my own life, even if my “big goals” were taking more time than I had anticipated. So I did something I hadn’t done in a wile, I looked to the inside of my right wrist, and read the words I’d had permanently inscribed there “Be Grateful” two simple words and an entire world of meaning. I’d like to tell you that I’d forgotten they were there, that I’d become so used to seeing them everyday that I wouldn’t even notice them, my mind skimming over them like a freckle or a birthmark always there, but rarely noticed. The truth is, I stopped looking, stopped reading them when the inscription began to make me feel guilty for never being happy with what I had, and always wanting more, but this day was different, I read them over and over first taking them in with just my eyes, and then taking them back into my heart. I stared at my wrist for a long time and then touched the words with my fingers, rubbing against them and reassuring myself that they were here to stay, and finally I held them against my chest, right over my heart as if I were trying to absorb them into my very soul.
When I walked to the mail box that morning I picked out ten things along the way I was Grateful for; the warm Hawaiian rain, The feel of the earth beneath my feet, the sound of the wind in the trees, little birds hopping through the grass, my home, fresh ocean air, the sweet smell of plumeria, puddles, and packages in the mail. Every one of them simple, and every one of them something I’d experienced almost everyday, but I’d passed right over them before not even seeing that there are so many things to smile about each day.
Every day I spend some time watching the finches, and the sparrows perching on the fence in my back yard as they take turns dive bombing the bird seed scattered across the few feet of deep red volcanic soil at the end of my patio. They chirp and sing as they muscle for rank and placement on the boundaries of my yard and I smile, and take as much time as I wish to appreciate the happiness they make me feel inside, and I am grateful.
It’s a struggle to remember to take time, and to be grateful. A lesson I must reteach myself every day, but it’s worth it, it’s worth taking the time, and as time goes on I can only hope that I will become so accustomed to appreciating the world around me that it will be the first thing I do, and I wont remember how to miss it.