After a difficult few years navigating a pandemic alongside all the usual life stuff, the realisation that life is short and precious is probably not a new one. For me it began a year before when we lost someone far too soon. This had a profound effect on me and led to a lot of questions about whether my current reality was the life I really wanted to be living, or if at the end I would have regrets.
The sheer magnitude of realising that I was living more for others than for myself was a tough load to bear and one I carried for many months, and am probably still carrying in some ways today, because living your best life is neither an easy task nor something that is easy to find. It feels big, too big. It’s such a monumental question that it feels like the answer should be just as big. That’s definitely how it felt to me. That if my life felt small, that must mean that I need to radically change something to make it bigger and better. The thought was paralysing. I couldn’t get my head around it. I didn’t know where to begin. So I did what any self-respecting procrastinator would do and did nothing.
But then the pandemic hit. Suddenly I couldn’t do anything and that felt both frustrating and comforting. Frustrating that life now felt incredibly small and knowing that I should have done something about it sooner, but being forced to discover the things that made life better on a smaller scale made it seem much more doable.
Those daily walks became a thing of joy, realising that we were getting to spend more time together as a family that we otherwise wouldn’t have done. Weekly Zoom quizzes meant that we got to see more of friends than we would have normally due to distance. Making the time to pick up the phone to chat to a dear friend suddenly felt easier and more necessary.
Lockdown was unfortunately marred with more personal loss, but through the grief I rediscovered fuel for the fire that I had to make the most of everyday and life a live I can be proud of. It wasn’t something I could ignore and push down anymore, I had to find a way to make it happen.
I began to journal more, asking questions like:
- What activities fill me up?
- What do I wish we did more of?
- What am I always saying I’d love to do, but never do it?
- Where could I make more space for me in my day?
From there I began to set intentions that would get me closer to living my best life. Nothing grand or imposing, tiny things that would get me one step further along the path like taking 15 minute every day to slow down and do something for me.
Your best life will, and should, look different to mine but one thing they will all have in common is that your best life is one that gives you more time for the things that matter to you. It allows you to follow your interests and passions and lets you feel like you are living in harmony with yourself and the things you hold dear. It doesn’t have to mean big gestures or things that cost a lot of money, though these can be a part of it if it feels right to you, it’s more about the little everyday things. The things you look back on when someone has gone and wish you could have again. Because if you can rediscover those things that matter to you and bring you joy and then bring more of that in to your every day, you won’t be far away from living your best life.
Where will you begin?