Life has been busy here in our household. It has been a crazy year with starting our own business, sending a child off to college, and managing all the other things that come along in life.
Whereas I have spoken previously about the lessons learned from starting a business, I wanted to share some of the things I have learned about life in general over the past year, such as:
Mere Mortals Cannot Control Life
I love control. I crave control. The unfortunate thing for someone like me is that I really do not have much control over anything. No matter how much I want to create a perfect outcome, I just cannot. Not only is it exhausting to formulate elaborate plans to ensure the world will all work according to plan, but it is an exercise in futility. Many things in life will happen as they do, regardless of my or anyone elses wishes. Of course, planning is a very good thing, I am not saying that everyone should toss aside all responsibility. What should be tossed aside is the need to control things you don’t have any real influence over.
You Don’t Have To Go It Alone
I have always had an independent streak, and tackling problems single-handedly was just how life was done. Problem is, facing the world alone can lead to burnout, regardless of what the task is. Chances are, we all have people around us who are willing to help, if only we would let them. I learned that asking for or allowing others to help does not have to equate with weakness. After all, most often the giver receives just as much as the receiver, if not more…
Today Is A Gift In Itself
At this moment, I have the ability to do so much, and share my day with people I care so deeply about. That is a wonderful thing. Quite often though, people ‘live’ in the future or the past, and the present just passes them by. In reality, why would anyone want to squander the precious moments that are occuring right now to spend time in some ‘future’ that may or may not come to pass- or in a past time that is just a compilation of perceptions about some previous event? The desire to control/predict the future can rob people of these moments if they are not careful. (Disclaimer- I need some work in this area… )
Enjoy Those You Are With
One thing that I have realized is that interacting with others is incredibly important to me (even more so that I thought). When I worked from home and the kids were at school, I think I just stagnated. Once I started working out of the house and ‘getting out’ there again, I realized how much I truly missed people. Whereas I have always enjoyed my relationships with others, I see that quite often I was rushed because of my tight time constraints. I have prioritized things differently now though so I can spend real time with people without worrying about where I need to be next (not perfect here…). If I could give advice to others in this area, it would be to truly focus on the people you are with. When talking with someone really listen, don’t just look for a break in the conversation so you can get your story in. Enjoy those you spend time with, whether it is your child or your next door neighbor. In other words, don’t waste your time worrying about everything else that should be getting done while you are in conversation. Life will always be full of endless tasks that need to be done, so you don’t really accomplish much by tuning out and planning for some other event. However, you could really be missing out on something great if you don’t pay attention to what is right in front of you.
We are all on this earth for a short period of time. Make the most of what you have! Create dreams for your future but enjoy what you are doing at this very moment. Don’t worry about all the things you could or should be doing, but think about what you ARE doing instead. Find a balance between being a responsible adult and following your own passions. Life does not have to just be about work and tasks. It is also about caring for yourself and others. Try not to get caught up in only the problems of the day, but also focus on the opportunities in front of you. There really is so much to life, we just have to open our eyes and see all that the world has to offer!