Recently a friend sent me the following message via Linkedin:
“I envy your courage. You are living as we all should. I enjoyed reading your biography and feel blessed that I had the opportunity to work with you many years ago in DC.”
This came as a bit of a shock to me, the idea that anyone would think that I am living as we all should. Granted, I can see how the bio on my website would give that impression.
My bio talks about how I traveled through Central America, South America, and Eastern Europe.
It talks about how I lived at a yoga center in Pennsylvania and a retreat center in Wisconsin.
My bio talks about how I volunteered with street children in Mexico and cancer patients in the Philippines.
All those experiences and many more are 100% true.
But my life changed dramatically when I moved to Bogota, Colombia in 2012, settled down, and eventually got married. Oh sure, I’ve had a few adventures since then but nothing that compares to what my life was like before.
My wife often complains that our life is boring. And she’s right. We rarely do anything particularly exciting.
In many ways, that’s how our life has to be. Living in a city of 8 million with horrible traffic and definite safety concerns – particularly at night – limits what one can do.
So yes, most people who looked at my life right now would say that it’s boring.
And you know what? I’m 100% okay with that. Because even in the midst of a relatively unexciting life, my life is full of meaningful moments.
Moments which add richness and texture to my life. Moments that leave me feeling fulfilled.
And these moments happen every single day.
Let me give you some examples:
- Falling asleep with my wife’s snuggled next to me, her head pressed into my chest.
- Eating my wife’s cooking which at its best is simply amazing and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before.
- Being inundated with slobbery kisses from our boxer Brandy to the point of cracking up laughing.
- Taking Brandy on her early morning walk, giving me space to think and reflect on my life.
- Watching Brandy and and our beagle Chloe fight/play, amazed that Chloe never backs down despite her much smaller size. And equally amazed that Brandy never hurts Chloe, despite her much larger size.
I could go on and on with lots more examples, but I think you get the point.
I treasure these moments. I treasure them deep in my heart.
I’m 99.9% sure that no one will ever write my biography. But if for some reason someone does, these moments would NOT merit a mention. They’re far too ordinary, far too mundane.
Yet that’s where life is lived. In the ordinary, in the mundane.
We often reject these moments for those very same reasons. We crave excitement. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of excitement in our lives.
But we also need those small moments to add richness and texture to our lives.
And those moments are all around us. Every single day we have the opportunity for meaningful moments in our lives.
But first you have to wake up. You have to pay attention. You have to savor those moments and hold them deep in your heart.
Otherwise you’ll miss them completely and wonder why your feel so disconnected from life.
In the wake of my recent Elephant Journal article in which I wrote about my friend who died too young, a woman reached out to me.
She told me that her 16 year old son had died a year ago in a car accident. She told me that her favorite moments with her son were the small, goofy moments.
And then she wrote the following:
Life is made up by a series of moments, strung together, not by by the time spent trying to get to the next biggest thing that may or may not make us happy.
I read that and my soul screamed YES, YES, YES!!!