The significance of savouring every day
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” — Winston Churchill
Sometimes the hardest part about a journey is realising that you are making one.
Let’s think about this for a moment.
It’s an undisputed fact that as humans we are born, we live, and then we die. Which means that, at least on the biological level, our bodies are making a daily journey through life and changing as each day passes.
Interestingly, many of us have come to view the first part of this biological journey as “positive” by virtue of our bodies growing in size, strength and ability, and the latter part of this journey as “negative” in that our bodies are becoming older, breaking down and finally ceasing to support life altogether.
Often we so fear the latter part of this journey and its ultimate outcome that we lose our perspective regarding the many good aspects of our life and start to obsess over what we have lost — what we are no longer able to do, how small we believe our world has become and how powerless we are to change things.
In fact, we frequently make such a hullabaloo regarding the trials of ageing that we inadvertently encourage younger people to be constantly on the lookout for signs of “the beginning of the end” earlier and earlier in life. Find a wrinkle, your youth is over. Find a grey hair … don’t get me started!
But why do we do this to ourselves?
Why is it so hard to realise that in our own way each of us is progressing through our own unique journey every day and make an effort to savour this every day that we are here?
Perhaps the answer lies in us keeping looking for and focusing on all of the ways in which our own journey is the same — both the ways in which it is the same as it was yesterday, and the ways in which our journey is exactly the same as everyone else’s — when we really ought to be keeping our eyes peeled for the myriad of subtle ways in which our journey is different from everyone else’s, and more importantly, the subtle ways in which our journey today is different from yesterday.
So what do I mean by this?
How many people do you know who get out of bed at the same time every day, eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and do the same job, day in day out, week in week out, year in year out?
Yes, these people may well appear to be simply going around in a circle not making any progress but ... are they actually stuck in an endless loop, or are they simply mindless wanderers who have yet to recognise the unique aspects of their life experience?
In short, are their lives really devoid of four-leaf clovers and rainbows and lucky pennies and synchronicity and such, or are they just failing to consciously notice and acknowledge these exceptional moments?
I’ll let you be the judge.
For my own self, I choose to believe that while my life journey certainly does have phases, each day is unique, which means I have the opportunity to make progress and have memorable experiences each and every day that I am here — right to the very last.
From this perspective, even mindless wandering is a phase of the journey that serves a purpose because if you didn’t wander mindlessly for a while, how would you notice that you had reached a new and different place when you suddenly began to notice the uniqueness of your journey?
• Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
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