It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the larger issues in life. From the moment we leave school or university, we’re bombarded by stories of how important it is to ‘get on the property ladder’ or ‘pursue a high earning career.’ We’re so hard-wired into thinking about the future that we often overlook the smaller things that are making us happy right now.
The official start of British Summertime happened about a week ago now, but yesterday was the first properly warm and sunny day of the year. Playing in the garden with Merlin, our border collie, I never once tried to calculate how many years it’s going to take to save up for a house deposit, or where exactly my career is heading. All the larger, seemingly ‘important’ issues I had been worrying about just went out the window.
As anyone who knows me will testify, I’m very much a glass half-full kinda gal. I’m a positive thinker and optimistic to the point of naivety. As a natural planner, I tend to focus on events in the future rather than thinking about my present situation. However, the sheer, unadulterated pleasure I got out of playing with my dog in the garden really made me realise the importance of those ‘right now’ moments. There’s so many things I like about my life at the moment, but my mind too often pushes these to one side. I can easily waste a weekend planning for the future (or reminiscing about the past with rose-tinted goggles), rather than living in the present.
Obviously planning for the future has its merits. Having goals, particularly where money is concerned, is generally speaking a very good idea. What isn’t so good is refusing to splash out on the smaller things that make you happy on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. The odd fancy restaurant meal isn’t going to put you out of pocket for long, nor is that really nice dress you’ve had your eye on. Sometimes to get a clearer picture of where you want to go in life you need to take a step back and appreciate what you’ve already got. That may sound like a huge dollop of processed nacho cheese, but it’s true I think. Whether I die tomorrow or in 80 years time, I don’t want people to be stuck for something to remember me by. A tombstone reading ‘she, uh, liked to eat a lot at weekends…’ isn’t the legacy I want to leave behind.
“Leap, don’t look, or you’ll never know” – Just Say Yes, The Cure