(5 minute read)
A rich life is more like a porch swing than a party — Jamie Cearley, PhD
Have you noticed how sensational life is these days? I mean have you seen the spectacular birthday parties three year olds are having? Each one must have a unique theme chosen by the child no less, leaving the parents to work magic to make the imagination of the child a reality. Then there are the breathtaking proposals; followed by fairytale weddings. Did you see this one where a guy climbed a cliff in California to propose by cell phone? She said yes; ah sweet success. But no, he was later found to be not only stuck high on the cliff but also high on drugs. He was rescued by a pricey helicopter ride to jail. Ever heard of a promposal? Nowadays asking a girl out in the school parking lot or with a piece paper folded into a football are out. No, you had better come up with something original and it had better be Hollywood quality, or else. I am horrified to think what having one of these girls as a wife would be like. I mean how long can you keep coming up with even more grand and glorious ideas to impress her? Then there’s Christmas. It comes earlier each year it seems. Look out for the resplendent Christmas decorations, complete with presents towering under the tree.
We are spending countless dollars in an attempt to one up the last thrill we purchased. Even worse, most of us pay for these spectacular events on credit. We are still paying interest on the past three thrills we purchased long after the thrill is gone.
Most of us will even admit to sensationalizing our lives on social media. The color coordinated family photos, the vacation pictures, and the sappy posts about how much you love your spouse are among my favorites.
We never had coordinated outfits growing up. That is unless you count various obnoxious plaid patterns of button downs as coordinated. Our vacation pictures include such scenes as my chicken pox infestation. I do not feel the need to tell the world how much I love my husband.
We are a generation who has come to believe fairy tales are reality and reality is, well just a boring, terrible time to endure.
Now before you click off this post and chalk me up as a bleak bore who just doesn’t think we should have any fun in life, wait. You just might miss the point.
Life is not a fairy tale. Nor should you want it to be.
Here are 3 Reasons to Live Life This Side of Sensational:
- Living in reality generates serenity. The more you try to avoid reality, the harder it hits. I see many memes these days with a new word, adulting. I know this is new not only because my spell checker doesn’t recognize it but because people used to want to be adults. We were ready to “adult” long before we were independent. Nowadays it is not uncommon for an eighteen year old to have their own car to drive. Yet, they cannot use a lawnmower for fear they will hurt themselves. There is a special kind of ignorance in this type of parenting. People used to grow up craving responsibility, freedom, and the rewards of a job well done. The realities of life are just these; responsibility is a requirement, there are consequences to your actions, and jobs must get done and done well. There is joy in the independence this type of life brings. No it isn’t a fairy tale. Yes, it is hard at times. But yes, a thousand times, yes, it is worth the effort in the rewards it brings daily.
- You can celebrate 365 days a year. That is 65% more days than your thrill seeking friends. If you choose to celebrate only special days or events you will waste the vast majority of your life in pursuit of a dream that will never last. Truth is, most days are quite average. Some of them can even be a bit rotten. Most companies recognize somewhere between 7 to 9 paid holidays. If we add to this number 15 days of paid time off and 52 weekends we get a grand total of 128 days. This accounts for approximately 35% of all days in a given year. If you only live for the next holiday or are a weekend warrior you are missing out on 65% of the days of the year you could be enjoying.
- All the little things bring joy. As it turns out, life is jam packed full of little things to enjoy. Hugs, warm showers in winter, cold showers in summer, and watermelon on the front porch for example. Then there are long talks with friends, and service to others; both of which swell our hearts with gladness. Many of us are too busy to relax enough to let the priceless little things in life soak in. A life lived in reality has so much joy to offer in its simplicity.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life has highs and lows. Rather than live for the highs and dread the lows, relish in the middle, for it is where the bulk of real living happens. Create a life that is more serene than sensational.
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