Sometimes I think we all need this reminder. That despite the shit that goes on, and there really is some horrible shit going on in the world at the moment, it is fundamentally wonderful. There is beauty and charm and adventure to be found, and it’s generally going to be found when the universe somehow knows you most need it.
We may, for the most part, be more wealthy, more healthy, more educated and more advantaged than many previous generations. But we’re also dealing with a more complicated life – we’re dealing with not only the struggles of our parents and grandparents – going to work to make a living that’ll enable us to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, a world on the brink of political upheaval and war, hunger, poverty, environmental issues – but the problems of our generations, too.
Ware dealing with the power of social media, for better or worse. We’re dealing with higher incidences of obesity, heart disease, food intolerances and allergies like anaphylaxis and coeliac disease. Mental illnesses and eating disorders are a lot more prevalent, and body image issues, self hatred, self confidence issues and the like affect more of us than we’re probably willing to admit. Drug and alcohol abuse are big problems, and smoking, despite what people know, is still going on. Bullying is still an issue that kids are dealing with every day at school, racism is still unnecessarily and issue, as is sexism.
We’re under enormous pressure to live a perfect life, to live up to the expectations that engulf us, and so we spend more time applying filters to make our lives look perfect, rather than spending time on ourselves, practising self love and self care, being kind to one another, trying to improve the world we live in; it’s easier to just pretend like everything is already perfect. We’re missing out on life because we’re too busy with our noses glued to our phones, we’re too busy making believe. We’re missing the beauty and the charm and the adventure, at a time where we need it most.
So, here’s my challenge for the rest of the week. And the rest of the month. And hopefully, honestly, for the rest of my life. A challenge to me, and to anyone else who’s sick of living half-heartedly. I know I’m particularly guilty of spending months planning travels on the other side of the world, daydreaming about how wonderful things could be once I finally escape my “normal, boring day-to-day” life, forgetting that I actually can find wonder and adventure in my every day life. And if wonder and beauty and charm and adventure are the things that make life living, shouldn’t we find ways to bring them into life every day, and not just when we are travelling? Maybe then we won’t feel the need to escape our lives, so much as the need to live them.
For the rest of this week, let’s all open our eyes. Let’s put our phones and tablets away, let’s ignore the media and the photo shopped perfection everywhere we look, let’s stop trying to make everything look perfect for ourselves, let’s forget our hurts and our woes, and look at the world with refreshed eyes that aren’t tainted by the news, our insecurities, and our friends’ social media feeds. Let’s look for adventures in the every day, and find ways to make every day special. And let’s not feel the need to immediately share our special finds on our social media accounts (not all of them, anyway – as important and lovely as it is to inspire others, sometimes it’s nice to keep a few special moments just for yourself!). Stop and look a little closer for a few seconds at those flowers you walk past in your neighbour’s garden every morning on your way to your car. Smile at the lady who waits tables at the cafe you walk past on the way to your office. Go to a coffee shop on your lunch break, on your own, without any distractions like your phone or MP3 player – order a cuppa and just BE for half an hour. Take a different route on your walk. Find something exciting to share with someone else, something that you’d have never noticed, hiding in plain sight.
Let’s bring back the adventure and the excitement to life, because there really is no end to the adventures we have if we simply open our eyes, minds and hearts to them 🙂 xo