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Put Life into Your Living

I recently had someone express to me their determination to live life doing what they wanted to do when, where, and how they wanted to do it. That they insist on not being one of the many people who waste time and turn their backs on a dream inhibited by fear or by obligation to achieve a pre-set social standard before becoming too old or passing away. I listened intently. The words spoken resonated within me. As a clinician I strive to help my patients and clients to live life to the fullest. I encourage a mindset of reaching for the stars but also encourage enjoying the simplistic beauty of life daily because it really is too short, and it is also rather delicate. Some people respond telling me they have no time to pursue a dream or enjoy spontaneity. They say they, “have things to do,” and must have everything in place if they, “ever want to get somewhere in life.” I ask, is that what we’re here for? Are we to simply check off boxes of accomplishments until the end without actually enjoying life as it happens? Are we to only exist and miss out on living so that we feel we accomplished something in life at its end? There is a balance to it all and I offer this post as encouragement, for in my honest opinion dear reader, regardless of how we view death, we need to put life into how we to LIVE.

You see, dear reader, I do like to plan things and enjoy setting life goals then going after them. I look forward to the challenge of striving for and accomplishing things worthwhile no matter how big or small, and I take pleasure in feeling like I achieved something I set out to do. That I did not give up. That said, I also love thinking outside the box and defining my own standard of success and happiness. I believe in doing what you love and loving what you do. I see unconventional thinking as a skill not a hindrance, and view spontaneity as a necessary spice of life. I don’t want to simply exist, I want to live, thrive, and grow. We can set benchmarks and strive for our personal definitions of success while also embracing the joys and challenges of life and actually live, not just exist. What good is obtaining the cliched American Dream if we do not allow time to enjoy making our house a home, create solid, wholesome memories for our children and with our loved ones, or play with the family pet instead of leaving it alone for ten hours or more each day? Who said the American Dream is the best dream for you? Who says that you are too old to dream, to pursue a passion, to have adventure?

In all our achieving, what matters most should not be an accumulation of material things and hollow accomplishments. We should share our life with those around us, not simply spend it with them. There is a difference. If your job is taking more from you than what it is giving, is it truly worth it? If you never have time to date your spouse and dance with your children, what are you truly accomplishing? Finances are needed yes, but not at the sacrifice of your mind, your heart, your health, or your relationships. Not in my opinion dear reader. I encourage you to consider what you need versus what society insists you should have. I encourage you to be create a daily routine that makes you happy, not simply one that you go through the motion of dispassionately. Start a new career, go back to school, learn a new skill online, take that trip you keep putting off, dance like there’s no tomorrow, hug your children, be goofy, do karaoke, kiss your significant other with abandon and live life to the fullest of your ability knowing that it’s not about how many boxes you check off as you live through life, but about how much life you put into living.



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