When will you let yourself enjoy your life?
I know, after such and such gets done or whatever it is gets settled.
Or maybe you’re waiting for a certain day of the week (Friday? Saturday?).
Or maybe it’s when the kids are all grown up or when you finally retire.
My own personal favorite and the one that I–and probably you–use most often is this one: “I’ll enjoy myself as soon as my stress level goes down a bit and I’m not so stressed out”.
Life will never get nice and neat.
Things will never be all done and tucked in–at least not for long until some other problem, issue, or challenge crops up.
The only constant is change, as you know.
Life is DYNAMIC, and the people I know who are having the best time are the ones who go with the flow, whatever it is.
I once had a friend who was probably one of the most laid-back people I have ever met–his gentle giant persona and East Asian heritage combined to give off the ultimate Zen vibe.
One day I found myself in the passenger seat of his car, while he was driving us through Midtown Manhattan. His whole demeanor changed as he drove, as he bobbed and weaved, accelerated and braked, all the way across town. He was perfectly in control, but functioning with a different energy than I was used to witnessing in him.
When I asked him why all the agitation, he simply said, “When in Rome, you know?”
Life is like this.
When things are frenetic, let yourself be frenetic, but not necessarily angry or resentful or out of control. And don’t hold your breath, loaded with fear or anticipatory anxiety and waiting for the moment to end so you can breathe again.
On the other hand, when things aren’t crazy, don’t create crazy. Just relax. Stop for a bit.
The bottom line is that you can actually enjoy–or at least not dread–the majority of your life if you allow yourself to do so.
Don’t wait for things to be “better” or for something to be “over” or “perfect” in order to put your best foot forward–this includes your relationships. Enjoy the people in your life. Get to know them. Appreciate them. Give them your best.
And don’t wait for them to be a certain way before starting. If everybody did this, we’d all feel better in our relationships.
Of course, there are ALWAYS exceptions to everything–I know that, and I agree with you–just so long as you make a good attempt at snatching joy from the hands of misery every once in a while in your life.
And, if all else fails, remember that everything’s temporary, including us. That always works for me, every time.
Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.
Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)