Finding Joy in the Everyday Routine

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

bikin

Sometimes life gets incredibly repetitive. It seems like right now, I do the exact same thing every day: wake up, sit through a lecture, spend hours in the library, try to fit a workout in, and occasionally try to do something that I actually enjoy. Sometimes it gets so hard to find purpose and joy in the every day routine.

So I did what I do best: I made a list. I made a list of ways to find joy and purpose in the routine of everyday.

1. Explore places.  

I got to lead a mountain biking this past weekend and it was so much fun. The fresh air was very much needed. The weather was beautiful and the people I was with were friendly and encouraging throughout the entire ride. I found joy that day by riding a bike through rough terrain and completely exhausting my body.

2. Making the people around you feel loved and important.

Last week was one of my friend’s birthday. So me and one of my other friends wanted to make the day special for her. We originally wanted to take her on a picnic, but it was raining, so we had to come up with something else last minute. We blindfolded her, took her to Milk & Honey (the cutest gelato place in Chatt), got her a milkshake, and surprised her with a box of pizza. After we drank our shakes and ate the pizza, we all went and painted pottery. She absolutely loved it. And I loved it too, because she felt so special and loved that day.

Maybe we should make this an everyday goal: make someone feel special. Not just on certain days because it’s kind of expected.

3. Visting family.

I have a huge family. It’s so hard to visit everybody because I don’t really make it home as much as I probably should. But when I do make it home, I absolutely cram my schedule to try and visit with as many members of my family as I can. I love getting to see them and telling them all about my time in Chattanooga. And I know they love seeing me and hearing about my college experiences (at least they act like they do).

4. Working hard in my classes and earning good grades.

I won’t lie and pretend like I enjoy studying and preparing for all my classes. I actually really enjoy a couple of them and I think the material is interesting, but more often than not, I have to really force myself to sit down and study. Each time I complete a task, I get such an incredible feeling of satisfaction that is so worth it, and it’s even more worth it when I make a good grade on something I worked pretty hard on.

5. Reading.

It’s really hard for me to read things I actually want to be reading right now. I feel like all I ever do is read, but it’s not the type of stuff I’d pick out on my own. So when I actually have time to read a couple of chapters of something I enjoy, it’s pretty great.

6. Go for a run / workout

The other day I came across a quote that said, “Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.”  I love this so much and I think it’s pretty easy to find joy in a good work out.

 

I’m not traveling the world and having all these cool, new experiences right now, but I know that someday I will. Someday I will have a cool career and get to do fun things everyday and get paid for them. But that’s not my life right now and I have to be okay with that. I have to make the most out of my days and focus on staying present. I have to constantly find joy in the small, everyday things.

love, kelsie

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Galentine’s Day

galentine

If I genuinely tried to compel a list of everything that I’ve learned since I’ve started college, I’d write the world’s longest blog. Seriously. I’ve learned so many things this past year by being on my own and trying to get through this crazy college experience. All these things range from really small to pretty big. I’ve learned not to drink a large coffee at 11 p.m., no matter how bad I think I “need” it. I’ve learned that I actually have to wash my own clothes if I want them clean (miss you mom). I’ve learned to keep an umbrella in my backpack, even if it’s sunny in the morning. But I think that one of the biggest things I’ve learned this year is that in order to make a friend, you have to be a friend.

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” -Proverbs 27:9

I’ve always had tons of friends. I’m a pretty big social butterfly and I’ve always been really good at talking to strangers. But for some reason, I was genuinely worried I wasn’t going to make good, strong friendships in college. Before I moved to Chattanooga, I knew only a handful of people and my roommates were complete strangers.

In the first couple of weeks, I made an uncomfortable amount of small talk. Each time I’d meet someone and exchange contact information with them, I wouldn’t really expect any other plans to come out of it. And I was okay with that, until I’d come home to an empty dorm room and remember my sister’s room wasn’t spitting distance from mine and I couldn’t walk down the stairs and find my parents stretched out on the couch.

During the first couple of weeks, I was meeting a numerous amount of people, but at the same time, I was feeling pretty lonely.

Since those first couple of weeks, I’ve made some of the most authentic friendships. I’d love to tell you about all the incredible times I’ve had with my new friends, but I’d have to make another extremely long blog.

I have my core group that I meet with once a week to study the Bible with. When we got placed in a group together, we didn’t know each other at all. The first few weeks were awkward as we each told our testimonies and got to know each other. Now we’re all pretty close. We get to pray over each other, do pretty cool Bible studies, share crazy experiences we have, and just get to live life together. It’s been such a blessing

Last week was my birthday. It was really weird not being at home with my family. Thankfully, my mom got to come down for a little while and spend some time with me so I didn’t feel too neglected. But it was my friends that made sure I didn’t spend the majority of the day by myself studying in the library. They had a couple of surprises and adventures planned for me. One of my friends even called my birthday a national holiday. Yeah I guess I’m a little spoiled. 

I’ve also gotten to strengthen some old friendships from high school. It’s heartbreaking how many people I’ve actually lost touch with, but it makes the friendships I’ve kept so much more special.

So since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I decided to write about GALentine’s Day. Which is basically a day to celebrate your sweet friends. Also it’s okay if you don’t have a valentine tomorrow, it’s kind of an overrated day. But since I’m sure you do have a couple of great friends, let them know how thankful you are for them. I think it’s so important to remember that it takes being a good, authentic friend to make a good, authentic friend.

Happy GALentine’s Day, y’all! 

love, Kelsie Ann.