Living In The Now
One of the things I have found myself doing these last few months have been to dress up much more than I used to when there wasn't a pandemic. I'm a West Coast person, casual to the core, but after a year of literally not being able to go anywhere and wearing grubs and ultra-comfy clothes the entire time, dressing up became a link to feeling human.
I dusted off my heels and started using them regularly. And I won't lie, it feels good to feel put together.
Before the year 2020, I had been running ragged and didn't know it. It was my normal routine, attending conferences, running to meetings almost every evening while working on work projects, my shops, and other things during the day. I had no idea how exhausted I was until I was forced to stay home. For me, the lockdown was a welcomed break as it gave me a reason to stop and breathe without anyone being able to say otherwise. The pandemic also gave me the reason I needed to say no even as things started opening up later.
All that happened in 2020 also demonstrated the fragility of life and how much we have taken everything for granted. And so I decided to change how I did things. I decided to limit the many activities I didn't need to be at and to which I had been attending because it was expected of me. And along with that, I decided to dress up more.
While it might seem like a small gesture, this to me is another step to taking care of myself and celebrating life. It is a form of being glad I can still breathe, I can still laugh, have fun, and smile. The act of finding ways to celebrate life now and not later is crucial to me.
As a child, I used to save the best till last, waiting to eat dessert until I ate all the other things I didn't like on my plate first just to save the best to have at the end. One of my cousins would say, "But what if something happened like an earthquake and you had to leave your dessert behind?" I would roll my eyes at him. But now, his words make much sense.
We run around doing all the things telling ourselves that once we are done, we will take a break, we will start doing things differently. But what if we never get that chance to and we've run around doing so many things that drain us that we don't even realize exhaustion has robbed us of being present with those we love, and any energy we have to do what we are passionate about?
Last year changed many things for me, but I did not see them as things that were restrictive. Instead, they made me take deep breaths to face myself to see that I need to live and enjoy the now. We have bought into the lie that to live life well, we have to do all the "big" things like travel to exotic places, make all the money, and generally live a life that is picture-worthy of social media. The truth is, life is about the small things, things like the first smile your child gives you, the unexpected gift of a hummingbird at your window, the connection made with someone who gets you, the day you achieved a goal you didn't think you could achieve and many more. Your life is made up of all these little milestones and gifts you encounter along the way making the experience uniquely yours.
It is a shame to hold our breath waiting for the cards to fall in place before we will allow ourselves to breathe and live. Life is not about waiting for things to "get back to normal" or go the route we want before we decide to start living. It is about being present in the now and finding ways to enjoy it despite the circumstances.
Make your life uniquely yours. Don't wait for it to look like someone else's experiences or for big events to happen before you live it.