Savoring Everyday Moments

If there is one reason so many of us are dissatisfied in life, it may be our habit of comparing our circumstances and possessions to those of others and finding our
situation wanting.

It’s difficult to avoid doing this. We grow up watching television, listening to music and reading magazines and blogs that make us, from a young age, believe we must have certain things to be happy. Our children become convinced they need the right jeans, hairstyle and tattoos to be popular (the ultimate goal). As adults we desperately play the game of keeping up with the Joneses–driving the right car, living in the right neighborhood and vacationing in the right place.

I grew up in a town where most families had low income–what the media might style “the land of less than.” The few rich kids I knew seemed embarrassed because they were different from the rest of us. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel inferior to them, because I believed that once I became an adult, I would be able to keep up with those pesky Joneses–and at last be happy. My life would be perfect.

When I first started to acquire things, they did make me happy. I thoroughly enjoyed having a car so I could go places. I loved having an apartment to fix up to my taste. And it was wonderful to have my own furniture, clothing, sheets, towels, dishes, television, stereo–the list goes on and on. I was thrilled to have a job and to tell people what I did. I had a career! It was SO adult.

And then something unsettling started to happen. Instead of enjoying all that I had, I began to complain about it. Sure, I had a car, but it wasn’t a new car. Yes, I had a place of my own, but it was a rental. My job was okay, but my title was unimpressive.

Not only that, I was still paying for things years after I’d bought them. Credit cards made things easy to buy, but not so easy to pay off. As time went on, I developed an acute sense of deprivation and sank into despair. Finally, at the age of 28, I sought help. The diagnosis: clinical depression.

Let me not mislead you. My depression didn’t stem from what I did or did not have. It was the other way around: my inability to enjoy what I had was a symptom of my depression.

I have devoted my life since then to recovering from my illness and to teaching others some of the tips and techniques I’ve learned along the way. Which brings me to the point of this column.

This is an invitation to learn the art of savoring everyday moments. If you already know how, I invite you to take it to the next level. The ability to savor everyday moments will go a long way toward assuring you true happiness, regardless of your circumstances.

What made me think of this for today’s column was an everyday moment I just experienced. Hanging in my bedroom window are curtains I love. This morning the sun poured through the open window and a light breeze made a curtain flutter and dance in the brightness. Watching, I was filled with happiness.

Having pretty curtains wasn’t what made me so happy. What filled me with joy was the keen awareness that, instead of being bitter and depressed about what I don’t have, I now have the gift of gratitude for what I DO possess. This took me years to develop and I am enjoying the heck out of it.

Everyday moments are events that happen around us but which we take for granted: kissing a loved one, driving through beautiful scenery, enjoying the camaraderie of our co-workers . . . the list is long.

Just for today, practice the art of savoring and see how the Law of Attraction brings you even more to savor. Life will become very good, very fast, and you will be the envy of the Joneses!

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