How Can You Enjoy More of the Good in Life? Practice!
A friend of mine recently started a job at an assisted living/nursing home. She was telling me how new arrivals are quarantined in their room for the first two weeks. There are no visitors, and many residents are confused as to why they can’t go home. She said the situation feels depressing.
Fast forward to last night. I volunteered at a teen mental wellness event. We talked about resilience, emotions, depression, and suicide. Some of the kids shared their struggles, from bullying to inner demons. I was inspired but also scared for these young souls.
Both of these remind me that I’m terribly spoiled. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed by how good I have it. I have a wonderful and healthy family. I have a comfortable home. I live in a beautiful setting. Most of my life is pretty easy. I live during a time when there is an abundance of conveniences, from cell phones to indoor plumbing. I have the freedom to pursue my dreams. I have access to technology that allows me to literally see my friends and to work from home.
Yet, it’s easy for me to focus on and think about the things I wish I had or wish were different. I wish it was summer or that I lived somewhere warmer. I wish I had a newer car. I wish I had reliable fiber optic internet. I wish I could heal my plantar fasciitis that has plagued me for the past year. I wish the pandemic would end so people could gather with friends and family more. I wish, I wish, I wish . . .
If I don’t intentionally remind myself of all the good in my life, I can easily spend my time and energy wishing. Now I know that seeing the negative side of life is normal. And I’ve also learned that just like getting better at a sport or musical instrument, getting better at noticing all my blessings takes practice.
I practice before I go to sleep at night. Sometimes I practice when I’m driving. Sometimes I practice before a meal. Sometimes I practice when I hear about someone else’s struggles. I have a lot of room to improve so I will keep practicing.
How about you? When do you or could you practice?