3 Ways Be Present & Enjoy Life

Here we go.  Another week.  Another powerful thought. 

Reading the chapter in Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts on Power Thought #10:  I live in the present and enjoy each moment, brought to mind my Grandma.  She is 85 years old, and every morning, she says, “This is that day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).  Grandma also told me once many years ago that when she goes to bed, before she falls asleep, she thinks of one work thing she wants to accomplish the next day, and one fun thing.  Grandma has had this all figure out for a while—we are meant to enjoy this life God has given us, and that is much easier to do when we live balanced lives.

     There are three other big lessons for me in this power thought.

  1. Enjoy the mundane. 

I think this is an awesome lesson because frankly, much of life is made up of mundane tasks—getting dressed, brushing teeth, grocery shopping, driving, paying bills, doing laundry, running errands, returning phone calls—you get the idea.  These activities take up a huge amount of time every day and every week.  If we see them as “stuff I have to get done,” they are not going to be enjoyable.  If we focus on the moment with gratitude, we can enjoy even the most tedious tasks.  I am thankful for hot water for baths, thankful for clothes to wear, thankful for money in the bank to pay the bills, and so on.

  1. Enjoy your work. 

If you separate your life into work, which is a have-to and a drag, and time off, which fun and what you look forward to, it’s going to be difficult to enjoy all of your life.  We spend so much time working; we must make up our minds to create fun in our work. 

  1. Don’t wait to enjoy your life.

I don’t consciously put off enjoying my life.  Yet, certain thoughts and attitudes creep into my mind:  I will enjoy life when:  when I have a better job, when I lose 20 pounds, when the house is looking better, when my commute is shorter, when the weather is warmer, when everything’s paid off.  There will always be those things that exist in some hazy idea we have about our future—that time when we will finally allow ourselves to enjoy life…but then, new things always pop up, and enjoying life gets put off again.  Let’s stop with the conditions that begin with “when.”  Let’s start enjoying every moment of life today!

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Naming the Days

Today, I am sassy, spunky, spirited and snowbound. I have been snowbound since yesterday, and may be snowbound tomorrow as well. This morning, as I realized that I was “in” for the day, I felt the weariness of another nondescript day coming on. “No!” I thought, which was very sassy, spunky, and spirited of me. “Today is going to be Different.” Yes, instead of calling today its traditional, long-established name, Tuesday, I named it “Different.” Naming the days is a tool I was introduced to many years ago, but I haven’t done it very often. It requires presence of mind to focus on the name of the day, and pay attention to the ways it manifests itself and proves the name true. One day many years ago, a day I called “Surprises” was very memorable. But, you may be wondering, was today really Different? Yes, it actually was. I didn’t rush. I took my time, and wrote a really long prayer dealing with every issue that had been on my heart and weighing me down. Then, I read and worked on projects for my classes for several hours. I can’t remember when I got so much done and it felt so effortless. It was Different. I even planned a new class for next fall. I am ahead in my work. That’s definitely Different. I paused to bake some cookies in the midst of my work—white chocolate macadamia nut cookies made from cookie dough I purchased in support of a student fundraiser. It took about fifteen minutes from start to finish. My husband had warm cookies when he got home. Different. Then, I decided to give my eyes a break and listen to a book, even though I usually only listen to audiobooks when I am driving. Different. I noticed how hard it was for me to sit still and enter the world of the book. I wanted to get online, straighten the house, etc. After a few minutes, I was able to settle into listening and enjoy the book. After this experiment with naming today Different, I wonder why I don’t name the days more often. There are endless possibilities—joy, mercy, beauty, music, fun, laughter, kindness, etc. Each name helps us to notice the unique blessings of any given day.