I’m a forward thinker. Often I am thinking ahead so much that I miss out on enjoying the present. After years of trying to change this habit, I think I can finally say I am making progress. The first year, I tried gentle reminders – inscribing a mantra on my Road ID, quote magnets, etc – these didn’t really work. The the next year I tried, stopping and taking a breath. This definitely helped. I left myself slow down enough to acknowledge how I was feeling in that moment. This year I am giving myself permission to be happy and allowing myself to think that I am enough – What I’m doing now is good enough – Who I am is good enough. Of course we should always be working towards a better us. What I mean is, I am allowing myself to think – everything I do today is enough. If I get to read half a self help article or if I just practice patience for 1 minute today, then that is enough. Progress does not have to be lightning fast. Progress does not have to happen every day. We all have responsibilities that will take up time. I shouldn’t and can’t hold onto the idea that I haven’t done enough. This phrase was previously my driver in life, but now it drains me.
When we used to take walks around Santa Monica and look out over the beach, Richard would say to me, “We have a pretty good life.” And I would know this was true, but I could never feel happy for it. I never let myself. I didn’t feel I earned the right to be happy. All the internal diaglog sounded like this:
“I am not using my brain to it’s full potential, so I need to find a side project or outlet for creating something amazing.”
“I am smart and my friends all have graduate degrees, so I should get one too.”
“I know I’m capable of great things, so I need to figure out what I want to do with my career.”
I’m not going to drop all of my dreams, but I am taking the time to change the way I think about myself. So when I continue to work towards the things I want, I can enjoy life and be happy. Being in transit is not a bad place to be. Adventure lies in the journey, right?
The first day I walked to the bus this year, I thought to myself – “this is nice”. Having a peaceful walk down the street was such a simple thing, but I never did so in Houston. That moment brought me joy and I felt a giant first step in this journey towards happiness.