Yesterday afternoon, as I sat at my desk and got ready to do some work, I sipped my cup of tea and checked a forum I administrate. The first post I read was by a forum regular, Andy. He wrote about how he was the only person in his office... on a Sunday. I sat there and, metaphorically, threw my arms in the air exclaiming "Sunday! What are you doing in the office on a Sunday!"
I closed the forum then read through my emails, responding to some, and marking others as unread so I can ignore them later. The phone rang and being the serial procrastinator than I am I took the call and chatted for a while sitting in my living room watching cars drive by the thatched cottage next door and noticing what a gorgeous day it was.
After the call ended I checked back to see if Andy had responded to my amusing comment about how his office was empty because it was Sunday, but he hadn't. Presumably, he was working hard concentrating on writing the report he had gone in to write.
I was about to get down to work when it occurred to me that having just made fun of Andy for working on such a beautiful Sunday, I was about to do the very same thing. In my head I was excusing this because the money I earn doesn't go to shareholders or anything like that, it pretty much all finds its way to me. But then I looked at the sky outside and thought how hypocritical it was to make fun of Andy as I was about to do the very same thing.
With that, I stood up, grabbed my coat and keys, and headed out of the door to my car. I started the engine I put the roof down to make sure I didn't miss any of the beautiful sunlight that was coming from a near cloudless sky, then I headed off for a Sunday afternoon drive. I was quickly on the country roads with my music playing, the wind in my hair, and smile I couldn't contain. Drivers coming the opposite way must have wondered what an earth I could have been smiling about, but the answer was simple - It was just a great day to be alive and free.
Now, I appreciate that Andy's situation was entirely different from mine, and I am quite sure that the report he was writing was very important. Writing it at home would probably be distracting with his family at home, so the office was probably the best place to get it done. However as I whipped around the tree-lined back lanes toward my favorite beach, I found myself feeling immensely happy and thankful to have the life I do. As I accelerated out of one corner feeling the car leap forward like a horse set free to run, I said out loud, "I love my life," and though no one would have heard me, saying that just made me smile even more.
Work for me has been unusually busy for me lately and will continue to be until I head for America in April. In fact, I've been so busy that the other day I noticed that I had fallen into a routine that felt fine but was pushing me toward forgetting just how fortunate I am because I am simply to busy to appreciate things.
In the days following the recent death of my Granddad I wasn't feeling overly fortunate. The sadness of that situation had taken me somewhat by surprise, deflating the bounce in my step in subtle ways that I didn't immediately notice. That was until the other day when I realized while chatting to someone that I hadn't been 'firing on all cylinders' as before.
I told myself that I would start a new practice of saying out loud that "I love my life." Gratitude is a super-power, but it's one that I think many of us either don't use or understand.
I don't mean to sound condescending toward Andy, who I know enjoys many wonderful days in the countryside indulging his passion for photography, but it's him I have to thank for this afternoon's' top down' drive. If he hadn't posted about being in his office alone, I too would have just spent the afternoon wasting an opportunity to get outside and appreciate the day.
Routine is the thief of time. It's easy to get lost in the day-to-day, unintentionally consumed by the task that always lies ahead. Breaking your routine breaks that spell, it gives you back time that would otherwise pass barely noticed. If time is currency then we should spend it wisely because none of us are getting richer.
So at the risk of sounding a little bit 'hippy-dippy, I just want to say that I am firing on all cylinders again, I feel 100%, and I LOVE MY LIFE!