Sometimes a day trip is all that’s needed to remind me what life is about.
Sunday morning, the sun rose high in the sky, grass glittered like tiny wet diamonds, little buds burst from trees, and daffodils spread their yellow cheer. My husband and I packed a lunch and set out on our first day trip of the year. No plan. No calendar. No list. No reminders of what needed to be done.
It was a badly needed day away, one that hadn’t been planned. Sad to say, that’s how my life usually is – one plan followed by another. I plan everything – vacations, meals, career ambitions, errands, home improvements – my calendar is a list of goals for this year, and even years beyond. It’s safe to say my life often feels like one big planning session.
I like plans, the anticipation, the wonderment, thinking about the next big adventure. I love dreaming about what’s to come. But sometimes when I plan, I forget to enjoy where I am.
The road trip reminded me.
Grass bowed as we sped the rural highway. Tall evergreens stood majestic against a background of a snow-capped mountain. My husband and I spoke of many things, enjoyed the scenery, the parks, the life around us. Nothing existed but the moment we were in. I had forgotten what that was like.
It is true, plans need to be made. We’d never go on vacations if we didn’t think ahead. Careers would fail. Family would get neglected. But sometimes, it seems as if we are so busy thinking of the future, we forget about the life in front of us.
Believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I plan next week’s meals while eating dinner, think about vacations while watching a documentary. I’m half here, half someplace else. Distracted, always looking forward.
The road trip reminded me what I knew all along. That to truly enjoy life, we must stop and enjoy the moment.
It got me wondering, what if we didn’t wait for a road trip? What if we stopped every day to enjoy the now? What would happen?
The world wouldn’t end, I guarantee it. But maybe it would change.
We could make our own little worlds calmer, quieter, full of what really matters. I want my life to feel that way.
So, as silly as it sounds, I’m making a plan to not plan. My calendar now contains three little words, “Enjoy the now.” It is my reminder to take time each day to remember where I am. Because in this crazy-busy society, sometimes we need to plan for the quiet.
It won’t be easy. I’m always thinking ahead. Most of us are. But I don’t want the road trip to be the only reminder that life is right here in front of me. Right now.
Life is in front of you, too. In the friend on the phone, the spouse next to you, the child in your arms. It’s in your dishes, your work-out routine, and the meal you prepare.
I encourage you, stop constantly thinking ahead. Enjoy where you are at.
Enjoy the Now