In life, there’s always more to achieve, more to experience… But if you keep longing for more and better, you forget to live your life. True wealth is in what you are doing already – and it’s more than enough.
I don’t know about you, but for me, last year was extremely busy. There were children to raise, stories to write, a lover to love, books to review, journeys to make. All the while, in the background I heard a nagging voice because I hadn’t started my new novel yet. Besides, the voice said, I didn’t practice yoga enough. And my friend who lives in the countryside had been waiting for my visit for far too long.
Now the year is ending, looking back, I see how full and rich my year was, and I silence the voice. It was more than enough. Come to think of it, it is actually quite a miracle that I managed to do all of it. Unfortunately, that insight didn’t find me earlier: the feeling of falling short has already done its nasty job.
If you’re even a tad ambitious, there’s always a task that remains on your to do-list, someone you didn’t call back quickly enough and something you just simply forgot. We set goals for ourselves, chase dreams and reach high to grow. Because thinking small will keep our lives small, right? Yet, it’s my resolution to think smaller. To reach lower. Not to aim for things, but to live life.
Sure, there’s more to reach and to experience, but I won’t necessarily find it in higher or far away places. It’s in the things I am doing, not in the things I should have done. If I slow down and give my full attention to what I’m doing, it will glow more, it will be valuable. Time will stretch out, I will fall through a deeper layer, and suddenly I will find myself in a place where all kinds of treasures are buried and where I might find unexpected happiness.
This wealth is also in the daily routine, I’ve noticed. Before I was a mom, to me, the practical side of life was an annoying interruption of, well, life. Cooking, getting from a to b on my bike, groceries, all those things were trivialities that kept me from more important and valuable things. Small children teach you how to see things different; each flower on the way to the supermarket is worth checking out attentively and getting the groceries is a small miracle – you better take some time for it.
Being around kids helps, or pets, or older people. They show you you can ‘fall into your life’ completely satisfied. Perfectly normal things, things you do without hurrying, unfold like flowers in the sun. It doesn’t all have to be grand and unforgettable, it doesn’t always have to be more and better. Things are fine the way they are. Drawing together, cuddling, rummaging in our pyjamas, baking bread, these are the little miracles.
Am I starting my new novel in 2018? Probably, because I can’t wait. All I have to do is cross out some other things. Keep searching, think smaller, and just plummet into new depths.
Text: Susan Smit
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