During shifts in life, (which I call leveling up, or graduating to the next level in life), how we approach them makes such a big difference. I don’t believe that shifts happen before we are ready. We can either avoid them with dread (guess what, the shifts keep happening), or we can work with them, riding them like waves. Cozy on our water raft.
It’s easy to fall into nostalgia when feeling like we’re getting older, stuck in a routine. Life sometimes may not seem the way we envisioned it would be, say, when we were 20 years younger. It’s easy to let longing for the past feelings of carefree bliss to be 1) bigger than they were, and 2) so amazing compared to the duldrums we may feel in adulthood.
Let me start with #1 from above. YES, most of us can say that we had a blasty blast during those youthful years as teenagers. We were so carefree, living the life. Bills were paid by our parents (well, until 18 for me O.o). For the exchange of a few household chores, we got to run free with our friends. We went to concerts, slumber parties, shopping, beach parties, fun drives in hot cars… you name it. BUT. Teenage years weren’t all rosy for a lot of us, either. We must not get caught up in the nostalgia and romancing of those “good times” without also recalling and appreciating just what we did endure to enjoy the good times. Being a teenager is rough. Even in the most perfect of upbringings. It’s a time where so many new things should be, or are, learned about ourselves, our families, and the world. (Unless a self-destructive path is taken, which is what I did for so long… then, the learning comes later).
Even if someone offered a time machine to us right now, would we really want to return to those times? If the stipulation was that you HAD to live them again EXACTLY like you did? WITH the rough parts, as well?
#2. Falling into the routine of adulthood CAN feel like there is no “fun” anymore. “The good times are gone.” “Whoa is me.” But let’s step back and look again. WE are in control. If our childhoods were not ideal, WE have the power to heal and grow from that, while keeping the lessons as the golden gifts they are — and dropping the negative feelings associated with them. We get to choose. Live happily now and choose better for ourselves — or constantly re-run the “whoa is me” video in our minds.
If our adult life feels like all we’re doing is working, paying bills, and going to bed, all to just do it again day in and day out – again, WE get to choose what we do with that. We can be grateful to HAVE that job. Grateful that we have the $ to pay those bills. Grateful that we have a home and people to share life with.
If there is something lacking we can ADD IT. If there’s something we don’t like, we can fix or change it. It’s all a mindset. Let go of the longing for the past. Keeping hold of that just causes depression. Nobody wants that.
Living in the here and now, seeing the many things we DO have to be grateful for, can swiftly redirect us from despair to hopefulness. Hopefulness to contentment. Contentment to joy.
It’s all a mindset. And it’s completely OUR CHOICE.
Today is great. Don’t let it go by unnoticed while re-living a skewed version of yesterday. That saying “live in the moment” is excellent advice. This moment is where everything is!