It’s been 10 months since the seminal summer morning I realized I wasn’t living my best life. Or, really, much of a life at all, stuck as I was on a hamster wheel of routine and must-get-dones, a list as long as my arm.
There were good things around me, of course. And many wonderful moments. But somehow the essence of what I needed, and who I wanted to be, had been AWOL for as long as I could remember.
This isn’t an epiphany, really, to many of us in the day-to-day, and I can see some of my friends nodding their heads. Yet the feeling that emerged on a quiet Cape Cod beach struck like a punch.
Was my life passing me by? I felt burned by grief and shock.
My sister and I were on our backs in cool, rough sand that day taking an outdoor yoga class when the sun began its ascent into a perfect July sky. The blue never bluer. The breeze never sweeter. Puffy white clouds within reach, it seemed.
I had gone to visit her to try to unwind, and when I relaxed enough to close my eyes I became intensely aware of my surroundings. The push-and-pull of waves, the forlorn cries of gulls, and the gentle splash of seals breaking the surface of calm waters, before diving and swimming on.
I hadn’t heard or noticed much in recent memory, running constantly as I was to please. So, how had this happened? I had no answer. But I knew that if life as we know it is a one-shot deal, I had to get cracking.
In the days ahead, I began to look at what works for me, what doesn’t, and why. And then came work to change direction on old patterns and map out a better plan, all while staying true to me — and, of course, working around the clock.
Time flew by as I focused on the goal, something I saw as a reachable milestone. And then, out of the blue, came another “aha” moment this morning, not on the beach this time, but on my porch.
While sipping the perfect cup of coffee. As the sun came up. After walking a sweet dog around the yard. And monitoring my beautiful flowers, all ready to pop. After silently checking on a sleeping child in the house. And before getting back to this laptop for some quality writing time.
I was filled with peace as I looked not to the day ahead, next week, nor next year, but just that one moment when everything was right – and I was fully part of it.
I know now I am no longer searching for my best life. I am living it, which is such an amazing thing.
No road is ever easy, and mine will have more bumps I am sure. But the hard work seems to be done, which, as I look back, was as simple as realizing there was a problem, and taking the first step to fix it.