I think sometimes I forget what it’s like to have fun. I like having fun. I really like that feeling of having fun where it’s all carefree, hair flying in the wind and big smile on my face. Yet I don’t know if I have enough fun, like there is this measurement of fun that we can turn on or off like a faucet when we want some. It seems there isn’t enough time for fun some days and I’m just bouncing from obligations until my day is over. The time of my life seems to be when I save up enough vacation time and hope there isn’t so much work to take with me during it. Work is fun, right?
My husband and I were watching a tv show one time exploring the Blue Zones. These areas in the world where people seem to live the longest and how that was possible. Listening to the interviews of these elderly who were still very much in shape, had energy and lived independently were messages of living a good life. They talked about jobs they had held in their life, their spouses, children and things they enjoyed now. They laughed, drank, had friends, ate what they wanted and enjoyed life. There was fun in their days. More than anything it was this mindset that life was worth living well.
Many parts of this show spoke to me as to how it was possible to be that healthy and live that long. More than anything though what stood out was that all of these people seemed happy. They didn’t think about time or how much they had left but instead focused on making today great. They didn’t seem worried about money. They looked forward to taking a walk, seeing friends, reading a book, having a great meal. There had been loss and hardship in their life but that was in the past. Today was indeed a new day and they were going to make the most of it. How beautiful to be able to live in this way and see the beauty of each new day where we can truly start anew!
This idea that each day really is the time of our life has been rolling around in my own mind for many months since watching this program. There maybe isn’t just these special moments or events but rather every day, every minute is in fact the time of our life. In literal terms I guess it really is too. The challenge at least for me is how I capture that so I can experience it more fully every day. How do you take a day filled with meetings, work, family needs, personal needs and more and turn it into the best day of your life? I have to believe at some point the residents in the Blue Zones also had these worries and stress of how to take care of their families, right? They must have surely had a stressful or bad day, week or even month happen.
We all know reducing stress is key to our health but too often we don’t really take that seriously until there is a serious need. We push ourselves to the extreme to perform well in competitive work environments and make sure we can pay our bills. We don’t have down time because there is usually too much to do and we eat terribly. In a modern world where we are so busy all the time the idea of hand making a meal from scratch is usually saved for holidays and even then we may take some shortcuts in making it. Yet we call this the good life where we can have it all but in reality what do we really have besides heartburn, stress and exhaustion?
I do believe healing from changing our lifestyles can occur if we make the changes necessary.
Shifting from a stress filled overloaded lifestyle though isn’t always easy. Let’s face it our bills just don’t go away because we want to live differently. What changes however, is our mindset about those things. We have them in perspective for what is important to life and what is necessary but we also value them. We see our jobs as not less important but different in why we do them for instance. It’s no longer about dreading our work but rather making the best of it. It’s not that stress goes away either but that we deal with it head on and let it go quickly. Our focus becomes what is right for us rather than fitting into something that isn’t promoting our health or happiness.
I think in finding these moments where we can recognize life isn’t all that bad and we can make each moment better than the last is the true message here. It’s not about working until we drop but rather appreciating why we are doing that and what it means to our overall life quality. It’s investing our time into each moment so we get the very best out of as many as possible. Most importantly, I believe it’s about releasing our stress and letting ourselves be human. Enjoying life in it’s imperfections and messiness. Seeing the journey not as a burden but an adventure.
The secret to a long life is in fact living more naturally. The fountain of fun needs to run every day because it is the fountain of youth that keeps us excited to wake each morning and see what we can do in this day that will make it the time of our life. It is not waiting for a vacation to make a good life or memories but rather what we can do right now to have that experience. It has challenged me to rethink what the time of my life means and how I have describe that in every day terms. The ability to treasure and see the beauty in each moment of a day rather than thinking it is some point in the future to come is a new level of thinking. It however makes today feel less stressful, less demanding. Maybe it is possible for more of us to live a long time into our golden years but more importantly I’d like to think we can do more living today through these changes of how we think about today.
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