however you want to label the experience. It’s as simple as that.
It can be challenging if you want to see it that way. It can also be fun, eye-opening, [insert your own adjective].
Humans love stories. But our (i.e my) obsession with creating a narrative for every life experience is getting in the way of actually living and enjoying the experience.
When we moved from Florida and arrived at our Denver AirBnB for the month of September, I felt overwhelmed. We didn’t have a gate to block the stairs for the highly mobile 14 month old. We didn’t have a pack n play to give me a break at naps and bedtime. We didn’t have a high chair, and I wasn’t sure how many more meals I could hold a baby who still views food primarily for play.
Within moments of being in this amazing place, I started creating a narrative in my mind about how “hard” it is to travel with kids, how insane we are to keep shuffling them around, and how I couldn’t believe Eric has been so bold in the vision he’s had about what our life could look like.
The negative talk snow balled until I couldn’t enjoy the day, and I was starting to think negatively about the whole month we would be here. That night, I had to finally trust that our kids will be great because we will always give them the love, support, and guidance they each need. I had to trust that this month would be exactly what our family and business needs. And I finally had to see the power of my story telling.
The experience of being in Denver was already happening - the baby gateless stairs and the 99% chance I’d have avocado smeared on my clothes at some point that day. So what was I going to do with the experience? Label it as hard? Be resentful to Eric for finding a notably amazing vacation house where we can walk to anything? Not.this.time.
This is as much advice for myself as anyone else who needs to hear it. The thing in life which seems annoying, hard, difficult, absurd, it’s already happening. The question is, how much power are you going to give the feeling? Are you going to resist the urge to label it “hard,” or will you file the experience away as just one more reason to never do X again?
There’s an entire world out here to experience. And while every day may not go as preferred, it’s so much less dramatic than my story telling mind would lead me to believe. So, mostly for myself, but also for my kids (because they’re learning by example) I’m going to stop taking trivial nothings and turning them into “larger than life” plot twists.
Life is already interesting; now I know I can free my attention from the negative nancy in my mind to truly experience it. When I look back on my life, do I want to remember how challenging it was, or how amazingly simple it all unfolded? It’s going to happen either way.