Given the hectic nature of our lives, it’s easy to overlook the little things that make it all worthwhile. Sitting with a family dog on a hillside, listening to music on a back porch, fly-fishing in the middle of the Colorado River, and being un-regretfully lazy. Life is many-sided and there are infinite ways of experiencing it, but many times we are blind to these blessings. We should insist on playing life to the fullest, but play it based on our own sense of value. Ask yourself what the ingredients of a good life are and make a point to focus on those things.
If you haven’t noticed already, life can get away from us even while we are still living it. Too often we act as if the world lost its luster when really we just stopped giving it our undivided attention. Sure, there is always work to be done around the house or in the yard, but finding enjoyment in life is so much more important, healthy—and fun. People don’t put enough emphasis on the joy of everyday living, and we rarely pause to savor the gifts of our present moments. Eating a home-cooked meal, being outdoors, wearing clothes softened by age, reading all day, running in a familiar neighborhood, and breathing deeply are all simple pleasures that satisfy our longings for liveliness. Happiness isn’t in the future, but in this afternoon’s meal with a friend, in this evening’s bedtime story with a child, in tonight’s curling up with a good book. We need to appreciate the things which help us stay balanced, which keep us from being crushed under the weight of seriousness, and which we can use to maintain our sanity.
I will always encourage setting new goals and searching for the next bucket list adventure, but in between goals is a thing called life, and it must be appreciated and admired with all of the simplest amusements. The tricky part is mastering the happy art of attending to things temporal with a mind intent on things eternal. Try embracing happiness as a moral obligation and you will always have an abundance of it; seek out the good in life and you will soon find it everywhere. If you don’t listen to anything else I say, please just remember this: the secret to life is simply enjoying the passage of time. Don’t let this lifetime pass you by.