I am feeling overwhelmed and impatient lately. This kind of thinking leads me to wish the week away so I can relax over the weekend. But that’s not how life is meant to be lived. We need to live life to the fullest – but what does it actually mean?
Is it even possible? And if it is, how do I get there?
On the one side, I feel like I am not where I want to be in life like things aren’t happening at the pace I want them to. On the other, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my boys are growing up way too fast.
There’s a constant battle between wishing time away and trying to preserve every precious moment. And in between the two extremes, there are mundane tasks and exhaustion!
Instead of focussing on the symptoms, I really want to look at ways to actually live life to the fullest.
Here’s what I have so far, feel free to add to the list in the comments below?
I get that we need to work for a living. Life is expensive and with the fuel prices and the cost of food on the rise, it becomes a necessity to work. So I keep wondering how we balance it all?
I don’t have the answer, but I it has a lot to do with prioritising things in your life. For me, it means prioritising family over career advancement. Limiting the time I spend with ‘externals’. So, choosing one extramural activity that we do as a family. Saying no to activities and people who aren’t a priority for me at the moment.
Essentially choosing wisely!
2. Quality Time with Your Loved Ones
To live life to the fullest means that we make the most of the time we have available. We don’t have quantity, because of the pace we live at, but we can make the most of the time we have.
Here are a couple of examples in our life:
- Spending time playing chess, instead of watching tv.
- Complete chores side by side. When we are busy in the garden over the weekend, we’re all in the garden.
- Waking up early on a Saturday morning to go to the farmer market – weekly groceries and quality time. (Freezing cold at the moment, however!)
3. Make the Mundane Tasks Fun
I’m not a fan of mundane tasks! I really am like Mary, in the Mary and Martha Bible story. I love a good debate that stimulates and challenges my thinking. The everyday-things-that-need to be done, like packing lunchboxes and doing the laundry, simply bores me! But it has to get done, right?
Wherever possible, I try and incorporate an intellectual activity while attending to the mundane task. I’ll listen to a podcast while sitting in traffic or play songs we love during morning rush! Or I’ll tackle the mundane as quickly as possible, in order to get to the stuff I really enjoy doing!
4. Listen to music that energises you. Dance in the kitchen like no-one is watching.
I touched on listening to music that we love in the previous point. But let’s be honest, it’s a point on its own. Music has a way of stirring our emotions! There really is a song for every mood! When I am feeling nostalgic I listen to Laurika Rauch, when I miss Al, I generally listen to Christina Perri’s “Thousand Years” or Ed Sheeran!
Here is a great song, to up the energy levels at home! Al even caught me mid-boogie the other day, while unpacking the dishwasher.
5. Learn the Unforced Rhythms of Grace
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Of all the points listed in this post, this is probably the only point that really applies.
The Word simplifies is so much and somehow,
we I battle to take half an hour to go into His presence and drink in His grace. Nature seems to quiet my soul and spirit.
Where do you go to recharge?
6. Get to Know Yourself
It’s easy to get frustrated when you keep comparing yourself with others. We all do it in some way or another. But understanding yourself and knowing what makes you tick, makes such a big difference!
Some call it, finding your sweet spot, which sounds pretty appealing. To me it means, understanding how I have been put together. I have a whole post, where I kept on rambling on about it.
But I think a great place to start is to complete the 16 personality type quiz! People think I am crazy, but I do the test every year and try to be as unbias as possible, and every single year, I end up with the same personality type.
Once in the past 6/7 years, my results were a little off and that was right after I had a major career change. But a year later, things were back to normal and I had adjusted.
7. Lean into the Discomfort and Learn from It
I am fascinated with the crutches and coping mechanisms we use when going through troubling times. The fact remains, the longer we hold on to these crutches, the longer it takes us to deal with the discomfort. The conflict, the problem.
Life is full of difficulty. It doesn’t stop because we’re in a space where we feel unable to cope!
In order to live life to the fullest, we need to be okay with the discomfort. Discomfort is a part of life! We can’t shy away from it, we need to become vulnerable, break down the walls around our hear and take a risk for happiness and joy!
8. Deviate from the Routine
Change is as good as a holiday! Spontaneity breaks up the repetitiveness.
Al made an impromptu stop at McDonald for breakfast before dropping the kids off at school a couple of weeks ago. He planned it, but the kids didn’t know about it and they loved it!
Their absolute joy and gratitude was the highlight of the day!
Deviating from the routine brings awareness. Suddenly we look at things from a new perspective!
Even though our circumstances haven’t changed, we can change our perspective. In turn, we cultivate gratitude and stir creativity and look for alternatives.
Have I left anything out?
I personally think there are many ways to live life to the fullest!
Perhaps, it is as simple as practising gratitude? Perhaps it’s simply focussing on enjoying life and being kind? Generosity is another item that could be added to the list?
What it boils down to, is being present in life and making the best of every situation?
This is starting to sound like the motivationals mentioned in “The Fault in Our Stars…”