Some of you may be familiar with Thornton Wilder’s drama entitled, Our Town. If you are, you may also remember the small town of Grover’s Corner where the story takes place. We read about the tragic tale of Emily Webb, a woman who dies in childbirth, leaving her grieving husband, George, and 4-year-old son behind. Emily is unsettled by her own untimely death, and she refuses to rest in peace. She is granted the privilege of returning to Earth and reliving her 12th birthday. At first, she is excited to be young and experience the joys of her life once more. However, her enthusiasm fades quickly as she realizes what lies in store for the future. The great tragedy in this story is how unaware Emily had been of the meaning and wonder of life while she was alive. Before returning to her resting place, Emily laments, “Do human beings ever realize life while they live it – every minute?”
This story draws attention to the unfortunate reality that too many of us trudge through life postponing happiness until everything is just right. How many of us spend our work week fantasizing about the fun we will enjoy next weekend, then spend the weekend dreading the upcoming work week? Often after a fun, relaxing weekend we approach our weekday tasks with the unbridled enthusiasm of a child sitting before a plate of healthy but hated vegetables. We grit our teeth and force ourselves to comply so that we can move onto more desirable activities. I fear that, like Emily from Our Town, we too quickly become wrapped up in the unpleasantness of our day-to-day deeds, and overlook the subtle opportunities to find pleasure in our weekdays. Implementing these 5 helpful tips can help us make the most out of each day.
- Exercise: Hundreds of scientific studies show that people who exercise regularly are happy people. Besides promoting heart health and helping with weight management, exercise also reduces stress, promotes self-confidence, and increases energy level.
- Dress for Success: When you look good, you feel good! Take the time each day to make yourself feel attractive. This small step will boost your self-confidence and improve your productivity. While wearing your favorite sweatpants and T shirt are extremely comfortable, you will be less likely to curl up with Netflix while wearing your nice trousers & button down top.
- Just Do It! Unfortunately, sometimes we have to do dreadfully boring or difficult things. Keep in mind dread is an energy-drainer. Don’t waste your time and energy agonizing over the less-enjoyable items on your to-do list. Take a moment to process where your anxiety is coming from; identify the problem, find a solution, and (without wasting time) just do it.
- Stop Waiting for the Weekend: Don’t wait for Saturday and Sunday to do something fun. Plan an early dinner with family, a movie night at home with pals, or simply enjoy a glass of ice tea on your patio. Try to keep a little reward for yourself at the end of the day.
- Be positive: Make an effort to not be a chronic complainer. Strive to look that the glass as half full – not half empty. As my mother always tells me, take the good with the bad and make something beautiful.
If we are constantly waiting for the weekend to start enjoying life, we are missing out on a huge chunk of life! The key to finding happiness and fulfillment in life is putting forth the positive effort it takes to find joy in every day.
As we tip our hats to National Coffee Day this week (September 29th), it’s only right that we have the perfect companion to your morning cup! Today’s recipe for The Very Best Pumpkin Bread is one of my favorite ways to welcome in this beautiful time of the year. Enjoy!