When I was 25 years old, I was living more like how 45 year olds might live.
Brand new big house in the ‘burbs, two fancy cars in the drive, great job, married to my high school gal. I even dressed the part. Hey, you need to act as if, right?! And I did, climbing that corporate ladder and always reaching for what was next. I rarely was satisfied with where I was. I was always looking for the next move.
The problem was I was missing the ride. I focused so much on the future that I missed out on a lot of the present. Living ahead was causing me to lose today. I hear a lot of people talk about living in “the present” and I have to admit, it’s still really difficult for me. I love to dream. I don’t have a magic recipe that works and all of a sudden – boom! – you’re living contently with where you are today. But I have managed to eek out a few things that seem to help me.
- Spend less than you make. Simple right?! You could stop here and your life would never be the same. I’m not talking about being able to make the payments here folks, I mean own what you have. Then you get to choose the work you do and you don’t have to do a job or extra things just to live.
- Journal. Something about writing things down that helps us appreciate what we have been given.
- Quick breaks every 6 months. Taking a day to recoup and turn off the noise is crucial. I like to go for a night to Conception Abbey, or a quick night of camping. Even late night walks around the city seem to help.
Focusing on tomorrow isn’t evil, but it can keep you from being open to what today is all about.