When my son was growing up, I made certain that I managed my priorities very carefully. Yes, I had a full-time job and a home I had to take care of on my own, but spending good, quality time with him each and every day was my priority. I never forgot it. The most precious gift you can give anyone is your time. Spending time with someone you care about is an investment and it the benefits you reap from that investment are immeasurable.
But lately, I had been forgetting to make myself a priority. I’ve been working too much and dealing with too much negative stuff. I’ve been forgetting to have fun. People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness. I’m not going to do that, I am going to live now. So, in the past few days, I have been remedying that. I joined a friend for an evening bike ride and a stop at the beer garden for a post-ride drink. I can’t think of the last time I saw a movie, so yesterday we went to see RGB. It was great, by the way. This morning I took a walk and then went to brunch. It’s been lovely, much needed, and so overdue.
Summer is my favorite time of year, and I’m making the most of it. Some of my summer plans include:
- The N.I.T.E Ride Riding around downtown Indy at night is going to be such fun!
- Symphony on the Praire- I got tickets for my birthday from a dear friend and we are going to pick out the best shows and go. I pack one fantastic picnic basket!
- More bike rides. I’ve started riding 4-5 times a week and it’s been great.
- More farmer’s markets. I have a friend who loves them too, so we’re planning to meet and eat our way through. 😉
- Re-learning how to swim. I love the water, but I’ve somehow forgotten the freestyle stroke. I found someone who will teach me again so I can get back in the water. Yay!
What are you doing to make the most of your life, here and now?
Reclaim your mornings. Start a morning ritual that gives you space to take care of yourself before you have to take care of the world. Start with just a few minutes of one of the following activities:
- Write. Make a list of what you are grateful for or jot down what’s filling your mind.
- Meditate. Sit quietly and pay attention to your breath, or use a guided meditation app like Headspace.
- Drink your tea or coffee slowly.
- Stretch. Reach for sky. Reach for toes. Twist and move around.
- Read. Choose a book over email or the internet.
Choose other activities that fuel your body, brain, heart and soul and slowly build your morning routine.
Edit your to-do list. We can’t put off what we love in the name of our never-ending to-do lists. Ruthlessly cull your to-do list. Take a good hard look at what’s on it. What can wait? What can you delegate? What’s never going to happen? Edit your list until only the things that really need to happen or really will happen remain. Only leave what’s important on your list so you can get back to love and peace of mind.
Make some space (just a little). You don’t have to declutter your entire home to create a sense of calm. Create a small minimalist sanctuary by decluttering one small space in your home. Start with a kitchen counter or your nightstand. Creating a minimalistic sanctuary in your home will inspire you to transform more of your space. The state of the space will also be a good reflection of how calm or crazy your life is. When papers start to pile up, it might be time to address what is piling up in other areas of your life.
Make some time (just a little). If you are trying to figure out what’s best for you or what the next best step to take is, here is the most meaningful gift you can give to yourself right now: carve out five minutes each day to sit quietly and ask yourself the following questions (perhaps add this to your morning ritual).
- What matters most today?
- How do I really want to spend my time?
- What do I need to do to take really good care of myself and the people I love today?
Calculate your debt. Getting out of debt will change your life in ways you may not be able to imagine. It’s not a little change but every big change is the result of hundreds of little ones. Get started by simply calculating your debt. Create a clear picture of your finances. Don’t use that information to feel scared, guilty, or worried. Instead, use it to help you decide what the next step is. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself for taking the first little step. You stopped hiding from the truth. That’s a really big deal.
Show up for the people you love. This may seem hard sometimes, but it isn’t. It’s probably the easiest little thing you can do to find your way back to love and peace. Showing up is different than being in the same room When you are with people you love, put your phone and other digital devices away. Look your loves in the eyes. Listen to their words. Be present. That’s it, show all the way up for the people you love.