…because life is too short to have never truly lived.
I wrote this post after reflecting about life and it’s fragility, after a friend of mine got news that her dear mother passed away suddenly. It’s crazy to think about, but time is so fleeting.
As is this life.
I don’t mean this post to be a downer, but instead to serve as a reminder to truly live and make the moments count for something.
Saying “I love you.”
The sobering fact of the matter is, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We’re not even guaranteed five minutes from now. It’s a tall order to “make every minute count” but there’s some urgency in that statement that I like. Try to make the most of your time by being with the people you love. If you can’t be there physically, give them a phone call or send a nice card to let them know you were thinking of them. It’s important to tell people you love them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Or if it will show up at all.
Hugging the people you care for (and maybe even the ones you don’t).
I’m just saying, there’s nothing like a nice, warm hug. Physical touch is actually a healthy part of life. If you’re like me, physical touch might not be your strongest love language – or if you’re really like me, it might be the lowest on the love languages scale – but I know once I’m in that giant, bear hug all the muck of the day seems to slowly melt away. Go find your friend, your dad or mom, or special someone and give them the biggest hug you’ve ever hugged. And tell me it wasn’t worth it – I dare you.
Actually attempting to go after your dreams.
Your dreams and hopes are not just there for you to pine after as you sit in your swivel chair at your 9-to-5 office job looking out the window sullenly. No, my friends. Your dreams are there to inspire and drive you closer towards them. Your dreams are simply goals yet to be met. Of course, you’ve got to be responsible about what you chase after, but so what? You know your dreams. I know you’ve written them down on a post it note and stuck it on some mirror at home or in your office drawer at work. The time to chase, is now. Like I mentioned before, tomorrow is not promised. Don’t let another tomorrow pass you by without taking a step toward your goals.
Being kind to those around you.
People. There’s about 7 billion of us on this place we call earth. We’re all different. No two are the same – even twins! We all have different ideas, quirks and baggage. You might not…no, you will not get along with everyone on this earth. That’s just impossible and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, is belittling someone because they are different from you. Or they don’t speak in the same manner as you do. Or they just don’t like the same TV shows, politics, ideas, etc. as you. This is okay. In fact, it’s better than okay – it’s fantastic. Life would be boring if we were all the same, and we’d never learn anything new. Also, you honestly never know what someone is going through. Do your best to be kind and loving towards one another, despite what perceived differences you might have.
Forgiving all who have wronged you.
Ha. You might have said. This one’s definitely easier typed than done. But you know what, it’s worth it. No, I don’t expect you to read this point and then go dialing the number of your arch nemesis from 4th grade who stole your BFF4L. What I mean is, life is so fleeting. Don’t waste yours harboring ill feelings for other people. Forgive them and move on. Chances are, they already have. Let go, and go live your life without the cumbersome burden of holding a grudge.
I hope you’re feeling challenged now. As I mentioned above, it can get tiring to keep holding a grudge over something that’s been said and done, and something that you may or may not have control over anymore. As important as it is to forgive your enemies, or those who didn’t treat you so well, it’s as or even more important to give yourself that same forgiveness and grace. It’s time for you to be free of that prison too.
Taking time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Because, honestly…what’s the point in working to have everything you’ve ever wanted, and never actually taking the time to enjoy it all? Relaaaax. Breathe a little. Take some time to revel in what you’ve accomplished. When I graduated college in 2014, I was as eager as a honeybee on the day before spring to plan my next move. What kind of job should I look for? Should I go straight back to school instead? Or, what about an internship? What is life? Oh. My. Gosh. Stop. If this is you in any way, shape or form – please, stop. You’ve just accomplished something major, or in some cases, it could even be a little accomplishment. Either way, take the time to enjoy it. Congratulate yourself by doing something fun or life-giving. Don’t feel like you need to be in a constant state of motion just because society, as a whole, never stops to “smell the roses.” Life already moves way too fast. Challenge yourself to stay present and really embrace this time of accomplishment.
Laughing a lot and doing spontaneous and goofy things often.
Just trust me on this one. One rainy day back home in California, my mom turned to me and my dad and said, “Let’s go play in the rain!” I was confused at first. Normally, this is something I would have thought of, or just done randomly on my own. But she looked at me, a glint of juvenile-like glee in her eyes and smiled. She ran upstairs, grabbed her shoes and skipped outside. I didn’t hesitate to join her.
Go and enjoy every little moment,
No matter how seemingly insignificant, weird or random. Just enjoy it. You’ll never remember the time you ignored your mom calling out for you to join her rain dancing as you mindlessly scrolled through Facebook on your phone. But you will remember feeling the cold water droplets hitting your cheeks and the nonstop giggling and the puddle splashing and the smell of wet pavement and the dewy grass underneath your rain boots.