“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.”
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.
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.