Most of us are living a life of routine. We get up, go to work, come home, do our chores, errands, eat dinner, go to bed, and get up the next day to do it all again. The exceptions are the high points in our lives. These are the graduations, the weddings, the births of children, the attainment of certain goals – the mountaintops. These are the times we plan, take pictures of, and sometimes, even live for.
Sometimes we get discouraged when there are not mountains to climb. We get in the rut of routine, feel stagnant and forget that truly, the journey we travel daily is where we find most of our existence, and it is filled with everyday blessings. These are the gifts of friends that bring love and laughter daily, the wonder of nature with changing seasons, and the awe in children’s eyes. These little things also include green lights all the way to work, sunshine for your picnic, that unexpected check in the mail, the fact that your car started today, and here in the south, snow days!
Nashville songwriter Sheryl Crow reminds us in her song, Soak Up the Sun, that “it’s not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got”. My own daughter told me recently, “I sometimes beat myself up for not having huge mountaintops that I’m constantly striving for. I feel guilty for just being happy with the life I have. Of course there are things I would change or alter but overall, I am happy. I sometimes think that I must be cutting myself short because I don’t have this underlying ‘drive’ to change myself or the world. Maybe I am normal after all just being content in my own world.”
It warmed my mom heart because I believe she is truly gifted in her contentment; though not necessarily normal by worldly standards.
Most of us are scurrying around hungering for success as we define it; trying to get more stuff, make more money, do more, find something that we think is missing, and one day we will wake up and wonder where our lives went. It has taken me years to find a place of contentment, and there is truly nothing more peaceful than being happy with what has been given. I am grateful that my child is satisfied.
Goal setting and attainment is worthy. There is nothing wrong with being driven and trying to do the most we can with our lives. We all need peaks to strive for and to contribute to our world, but if we get stuck living for the mountaintops, we will exist in a perpetual state of stress, often be disappointed, and we may likely miss out on some of the simple pleasures right under our noses.
Today, try to find a balance. Feel the joy of loving the ones you’re with; including co-workers and teenagers. Find the bliss in the rebirth of spring. Be thankful for your dinner, your home and your job. Take a deep breath of fresh air, and linger outside for just a minute longer than usual – rain or shine. Listen to advice from a child. For the moment, forget the mountaintops. They aren’t going anywhere.
“The sweetest things in life are free, and they’re right before your eyes
You got to stop and smell the roses; you’ve got to count your many blessings everyday.
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t Stop and Smell the roses along the way.” Mac Davis