We spend a lot of our lives planning. A recent week, for instance, I made a To-Do list that included everything from “Drop clothes off at the Salvation Army” to “Book hotel for trip.” For many of us, it can feel like we’re on a conveyer belt rushing to the next thing—to the place where the fun and joy is. But here’s the thing: There’s fun and joy where we are right now.
That’s why I loved hearing Richard Webber (played by James Pickens, Jr.) telling the young surgeon Karev that in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As Karev was racking up routine hours on his way to bigger surgeries, he needed the reminder that the day-to-day is where the joy is. Here is what he said:
“Sometimes you can’t see the joyful part of your life until it’s over. This is it, Karev, it’s right now. You’re in it.”
There are far more regular days than big occassions and exotic vacations. So if we’re just saving the joyful moments for one night out a week or two weeks away a year or the one spectacular day we get our big promotion, that’s about three hundred days a year left over. And those are great days!
Try this: Think about what you were doing before you started reading this post and what you’ll be doing next, and appreciate it. Were you emailing a co-worker? Writing up notes for a meeting? Cleaning the dishes? Driving to the store? Catching up on with your friends on Facebook? Well guess what: This is a special moment in time. A year from now or five, you might have a different job, office or computer. You might be going to new meetings or none at all. Even if you’re driving the same path to the same store, you’ll be wearing different shoes, chatting on your phone to different friends. And Facebook? Who knows what that’ll look like in five years.
Our lives are like time capsules that we never seem to open until years later. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off until ten years from now to say, “Oh, wow, remember that email system we used to use?” and “Aw, look, that cute bush that used to flower by my front door,” and “Man, I’ve felt loved in my life.” Don’t wait to see the joyful part until it’s over. Appreciate those things right now.
This is it. It’s right now. You’re in it.
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