Remember the days of old we call “childhood”? The penchant for birthdays, holidays, days off from school, Christmas … the longing for days that would seemingly never come.
Remember? I think it’s time we slowed down and enjoyed more life.
Time Stood Still
As kids, for those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with food and clothes and a roof over our heads, we had nothing to do and no real responsibilities. I mean – we did things. But there were no meetings to prepare for, no deadlines, no emails to catch up on, no real place to be except home before it became dark outside. What we did have was time, and lots of it, to lay, wait and anticipate.
A year felt like a decade; a high school senior was an “old person;” we’d never get our driver’s license. These are the things we thought and concerned ourselves with. Without knowing it, we used our power to make time stand still.
In adulthood – like when we’re having fun, as the saying goes – time flies. Adulthood is fun, yes! We’re independent, free to make choices. But adulthood isn’t always fun. We’re heads down, a LOT, and we have serious responsibilities.
We work, run, make meals, take care of kids and pets. We do laundry, and hopefully meet deadlines, and we have places to be and emails to catch up on. Time flies.
Lay, Wait and Anticipate
For me, a fulfilling life is a balanced one with equal parts work and play. A fulfilling life doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of work and self-investment, and it requires constant attention.
I also believe that a fulfilling life should be drawn out and shouldn’t breeze by like a missed train. We owe this to ourselves. The trick? Reconnect with our younger selves and lay, wait and anticipate.
If you’re ready to draw out your time and enjoy more positive, meaningful experiences, check out these 5 ways you can start doing so today.
5 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy More Life
- Buy tickets to a sporting event, concert, or play a few months in advance. When you you’re a month or so away from the event, treat a friend (or a few of them) by asking that they join you. Build anticipation by talking about what you’ll look forward to most in the weeks leading up to it.
- Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and invite him/her for coffee. If you can, plan your meetup for a time during the workweek. It’s a nice way to break up your busy day, and it’ll give you a real reason (and excuse!) to step away from your desk.
- Spontaneously plan a weekend getaway. Yes, you read that right: spontaneously plan. When you’re finished reading this post, connect with a friend or loved one and plan the out-of-town or local trip you’ve been talking about for so long. Schedule for four or six weeks into the future and enjoy the anticipation.
- Invite your parents over for dinner. Doing nice things for others’ benefit can be rewarding. Plus you’ll get bonus points for giving your parents something to look forward to, too!
- Plan a monthly, recurring event with friends. Make it a dinner, fitness event, coffee, anything. You’ll strengthen your relationships and your commitment to enjoy more meaningful experiences.
The Moral? Think Like Your Younger Self.
When we were young we wanted nothing more than to be older, because that meant “freedom.” Let’s not waste our freedom or gift of choice. The next time you hear yourself say, “time is really flying,” slow down, put something on the calendar, and enjoy more life.