A few of our most recent threenager melt-downs have been because something fun is ending – Halloween trick-or-treating/handing out candy, & then not getting to finish an episode on TV before heading to school.
In the midst of the meltdowns, and especially once she’s calmed down again, I’m trying my best to teach her that when we’re sad about something good ending, it’s best to just focus on the fun & stay happy. That when we get sad about the end, it adds in more negative feelings rather than just holding onto the positive ones.
I am completely aware that this lesson/reasoning is more advanced than a three-year-old can really appreciate. But I’m starting now in the hopes that as she gets older, this may be one of the lessons that really sticks & helps form who she is as a person. And let’s be real honest here, it’s a lesson I am still trying to teach myself.
Just in the past week, as I left California & all of my family, and again when I left Austin & two of my best friends, it was really hard to fight off the tears & the sadness at the leaving. But I really did try to keep my heart in the happiness that the trips brought long after leaving. And you know what? It helped.
So if you’re in the midst of an ending, leaving a place or a time or a season that you’ve loved & enjoyed, try to keep your heart in that place of gratitude & enjoyment rather than entering that place of sadness & mourning that comes so naturally to most of us. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to extend that joyful season just a little bit longer.
I received a suggestion a little while ago to read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, and I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. I haven’t gotten too far into the book just yet, but I think one of the main points is really interesting, and warrants taking a little bit of time to really think about your current life & plans for the future.
Ferriss talks about the mentality of the “New Rich” and how rather than putting off enjoyment, travel and rejuvenation to the end of life in retirement, we can inject mini-retirements periodically into our lives as we go. We can work fewer hours without location constraints, so travel is a viable option at all times.
Now, the old-school part of me thinks sure, that’s great and all, but in the real world most people have to put in the work, pay your dues, and earn the enjoyment of retirement.
The other part of me sees the value in this way of thinking and not putting-off living until later, when we may or may not be capable. And there’s always the thought that changing financial situations may not allow for the things we think we’ll do “someday.”
One key thing that really stuck with me right away though was that you have to be intentional about the time you want to free up. So if you’re working to cut back your workdays from 5 days to 4 days a week, you can’t just be working to have more free time. You need to want to have the time for a specific reason – whether it’s learning to bake, being able to make it to your kids’ sports competitions, or traveling to historic landmarks around your state.
The key is to be specific, and work to make sure you’re living too. And really, whether you follow the rest of the plan or buy into the “New Rich” idea/lifestyle, I think that is such a valuable lesson and reminder to us all. Be smart, but don’t keep putting off living until later!
So what is one thing that you want to intentionally start building into your life?