But I won't.
Now that I don't live in town I could just drive there and go get a coffee while I take a walk and look into store windows, inspired by artistic displays, getting a pulse on what people are interested in, breathing in the busy life that is happening around me….
But I don't.
Through technology I could be just as close with all my besties I used to see everyday, but now live far from. We could Skype and text and do everything but meet up for a drink or go to yoga together, but somehow that just doesn't happen….
Why? Why don't I do these things that make me so happy? Why don't I keep up with those people I love so deeply? Because I am awfully caught up in the life I lead everyday. We all are. Think about it - who in your life do you know best right now? Chances are you know more about the UPS guy or your kid's teacher than you know about your family or friends that live far away. They may have a place in your heart, but the UPS guy has a place in your day [Editor’s note: Um, that’s twice in one paragraph you’ve mentioned the UPS guy – is there something going on?], and that matters.
You may think you are the kind of person who enjoys long walks on the beach or going to the opera - but unless you actually do those things regularly, that is not really who you are. It would be more honest if you said "I am the kind of person who can't get off Facebook and reads People cover-to-cover each week because I secretly think the Kardashians are cool." If that is what your days are made up of, that is who you really are. It's OK. In fact I love how Facebook makes a place for people I love in my everyday. But it is good to be mindful of how we spend each day, and if you don't like who you are when you are honest about how you spend your days, it’s okay to give yourself a mindful change-up.
The best way to make the life you want is to create it. And I mean this literally. Create a plan made up of the things you want to include in your life. I want to constantly strive to be a better person and to contemplate issues of social justice, so I structure going to the Unitarian church into my weekly routine. I want to have a strong body and a long life, so I make going to the gym part of my schedule. I want to be close and connected to my kids, so we have cuddle time every night. I want to always be as in love with my editor/husband as I am right now, so I date him whenever I can and make time everyday to appreciate him out loud [Editor’s note: Suck on that, UPS guy!].
I want more of this mindful living in my life. Weekly classes or monthly book clubs are great for this; you stay consistently connected while exploring shared interests and defining who you are. It is so much better than the old “plodding along through life, tuning out and just managing to make it to the end of each day” routine.
I want to have Sunday dinners where all the people I love are welcome and will come just hangout and connect. Build it into my schedule so everyone knows they are welcome every Sunday night. The problem is, I have people I love on both sides of the country- and this country is very big. Too big for everyone to make it to Sunday dinner. Boo.
This is a problem that will may take some creative problem solving. I may just have to explore bi-coastiality. How to live the life I want to live everyday? Hmmm.
I will put my mind to it. I want to be the kind of person who writes hand-written thank you notes - or notes of appreciation when someone touches me [Editor’s note: Better not be the UPS guy!], and who gets up early to take my dog on a three-mile hike through the woods. I want to be the type of person who keeps up on baby books and scrap books and who visits small stores each day so I can shop only locally and from family farms. I want to be the type of person who takes time each day to meditate and read the world news, and also spends time each day keeping my house incredibly clean. So, that is the kind of person I want to be...but upon reflection I may need to temper my expectations a bit, choosing carefully the things that are the most important for the person I want to be.
Fitting It In
Calling It Out
Don’t Do It Yourself