How to be exited about your life
As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, I'm finding it harder and harder to want to wake up in the morning. Well, I could blame it on the seasons and the lack of light, but really, it more boils down to my lack of excitement for life. I haven't been feeling extraordinarily energetic lately. It's hard to wake up when it doesn't feel like there's anything worth waking up for.
Or at least that's what I've been telling myself. But I've been known to be wrong.
I've been waiting on life, on God to hand me some sort of great news, or a clear path forward. I've been waiting for opportunities to either open or close, so that I could at least move forward. Mostly, I've been waiting on something to get me excited. (Oh, you should have seen me that morning when I found $5 on the ground! I was a giddy kid in a candy store; it was just the greatest thing!)
But the excitement didn't last long. In short order, I was back to being mopey. The only things that would really get me up in the morning were the promise of coffee, and the weekend. I hate living for the weekend.
Why would I just merely 'suffer' through 5/7 of my week, and only enjoy 2/7? It's a really crazy way to live, I figure, and I've always been keen to do work that I love and am passionate about. But lately, even work isn't distraction enough.
The only thing that has been keeping me afloat is food - and for a girl who is trying to redefine and cultivate a healthier relationship with food, this isn't a good thing!
But then I met a guy. Of course, it always starts with a guy. Actually, I've known this guy for a long time now, but not well. I've sort of 'seen him around' church. And I can't say I had ever really thought much of him. He's fairly young, and when he comes to church, immediately all of the children latch on to him, and the chase and play begin. He's in there and he's having more fun that all of the kids are!
Admittedly, I sort of wrote him off as this immature kid. But recently, I've been getting to know the more mature side of him. He's actually quite intelligent, and can be very serious. He easily holds his own when it comes to politics, geography, history. He's interested in hearing what other people have to say. But most impressive: he just chooses to play with the kids. He chooses to walk in and immediately get right in on all of the action, playing and chasing and being excited.
And that's when I remembered a lesson I'd learned years ago: an exciting life is an action, not a reaction. I can't simply wait until something comes along that I can become excited about, and then react to it. If I were to do that, I would be waiting for a long time. But I can act excited, and from that, I will experience things in an exciting way.
I don't mean this in some wishy-washy will-myself-to-feel-good sort of way. I mean it more in an "I get out what I put in" kind of way. When I start to act excited about life, my life becomes more exciting. It doesn't work the other way around.
Too often, we think that the emotions come first. They don't. Emotions come as a product of what I think. Take my found $5 for instance. I could easily have thought, 'eh, whatever. $5 isn't going to change my life.' But instead, I really chose to embrace that $5. I chose to enjoy it, and to share my excitement. I chose to ride that wave of good luck all day.
Acting excited doesn't have to be big: small actions will do it. In fact, small actions are really the only way to do it, because life is made up of small moments, each one with its own opportunity to be an exciting moment, or conversely, a life-sucking moment.
So, I invite you to smile with me at the people also taking public transit, or high-five your coffee barista, to tell that lady in the really lovely dress that she really does look quite lovely in that dress. All of these things infuse a little bit of life into life - not only yours, but theirs too! Who doesn't like to receive a compliment? And who doesn't smile a little inside when a person unabashedly expresses their joy?
Boring, lifeless people, that's who. Let's all remember that we're here to live!
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