Recently a subtle shift has happened within me and I don’t know why this has changed, but I like it. Before this, when I would go out to dinner with the family and the bill crept or lept over a certain amount, I would get upset. As we got busier and ate out more often, the rising cost of eating out for a family of five was something that raised my anxiety! Over time though I realized that eating out for meals just cost a lot more than it did before. But now the shift in me is that I don’t really care about the cost, as I am more grateful for us all being together.
Maybe that is it – that I am grateful for us all to be together. As life goes by, the moments together trump saving a few dollars, or a few hundred dollars, or even a few thousand dollars. Could it be that I am maturing? Could it be that I have started to see the value of life in different ways? Could it be with the company stock rising and my wealth on paper increasing that I don’t mind spending it? Or could it be that after so many years of reading self help books, listening to gurus of one sort of another, reading, writing and talking about what really matters, that I have finally begun to believe that life goes by quickly? And cherishing the moments as they happen is more important than tallying up what’s in my bank account?
I do think that it is those last two points that have given me new perspective and such a positive shift in my life. Up until this point, I was not able describe what I was feeling. I just knew that I would be out and what used to bother me, didn’t anymore. I have been on the east coast for ten years, and I have enjoyed working for the company, riding trains for much of my day, wondering how to bear and enjoy the weather, and watching my family grow up. Besides my oldest now being taller than me, I have most drastically realized that I have spent 10 years of my life here, doing what I am doing, and watching my family do the same.
Ten years is a significant chunk of time, and seems to look at life in ten year chunks. Looking back on it, I quickly wonder if I enjoyed my last 10 years. Did we make the most of it? Or better did we enjoy the time each day, or did we let little things get in the way of enjoying each other and the moments of the day? I know now that many times those little things seemed much bigger at the time, and I would like to change the priority of things right now.
This is also a poignant time in my career, with the company possibly deciding to merge, I could potentially lose my job, and so I have been thinking of what is next. Given my perspective of finding the value in every day, and in every moment of the day, this has been a rewarding exercise. How fun to ask yourself what you really like to do, what brings you joy in work, and what things have made you most happy and successful in work. I will be looking through a new lens at the next ten years, and I plan to enjoy my work in ways that I did not before. I will look for situations where I can bring my best in passion, engagement, and happiness. If I look for that, I will find it, even if it takes a while and even if I need to pay the bills in the mean time by doing something else. Still, this new value proposition has changed my perspective for the better already, and this feeling is totally liberating!
I wish I had a recipe for getting to this perspective. As you can see, I didn’t know what it was when I started this essay. But as it usually does, writing it out has uncovered the value in this moment and in the moments of every day. Have a great day!