If you’re not enjoying life,

you’re doing it wrong, one of my regular customers at McDonald’s used to say. He’d say this when I was taking orders, getting ready to mop the floor, or just about any time he visited the store. He’d even sing it, as he was walking in, to anyone who was willing to listen.

Truth be told there’s nothing fun about mopping a floor. There’s nothing fun about turbulent times either. 

But it makes me wonder though just how much power we individually have to enjoy life every moment. It comes down to choice. Do you choose something that will make you more miserable or something that will help you keep your peace? 

Enjoying life isn’t meant to be that difficult. We sometimes forget to be creative in the way we take things in. We forget that we have the choice to see the bright side of things.

  • Spend your time doing the things that will bring you a sense of fulfillment instead of dread.
  • It’s as simple as thinking back about your day’s or week’s accomplishments.
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

How can you live your life in such a way that you completely enjoy it almost always. In such a way that you find beauty or wisdom or love or laughter even during turbulent times? 

In such a way that even during turbulent times, you find the will to keep going for your dreams, that you find appreciation for what matters most to you, that you find all of the reasons for why even then, life is still good. 

Photo of “Tree” by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

The beauty, the goodness, and the mystery of life

You appreciate the beauty, the goodness, and the mystery of life on good and bad days.

As you get older, your wisdom grows. You’re less naive. You’re stronger.

You’re grateful about the good things life blesses you with: songs to sing, something new to learn, a curiosity to laugh about. 

Sometimes the purpose of your life changes. On one day, your purpose is simply to get through the day. Other days, it’s to give it all you got by serving selflessly or living bravely or both.

There’s a new day, again. And again, there’s a new day.

Sometimes you try to make sense of it all. Other times, there’s nothing to make sense of.

There’s always something to appreciate about life–its beauty, its goodness, its mystery.

Photo above by Evie S. on Unsplash

Lost Dreams

Dreams are meaningful and achievable, but what happens to the dreams we lose sight of, the dreams that take second place?

Two of the dreams that I’ve lost over the years were the goal of become fluent in other languages and the dream of looking beautiful by achieving beauty standards.

Learning languages

I remember going to French classes in community college excited for class. I loved how Madame Sullivan taught us to pronounce words like boulangerie, one of my most favorite things in the world. Did someone say bread?

I only took two courses with her, and that was the end of a structured and formal language-learning experience. Languages continued to spark my interest.

Throughout the years, I’ve attempted to learn other languages through Youtube videos, Duolingo, and Mango Languages but never with the discipline I had when taking those French classes. The dream of becoming fluent in other languages was lost, if only until that dream takes first place again.

Looking “beautiful”

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Looking beautiful is subjective because we see beauty differently. Beauty depends on culture, time periods, and preferences.

There’s a video called “Beauty Standards Around the World” which shows the differences in how we perceive beauty. A woman asks people from around the world to photoshop her photo and make her beautiful. Some go for made-up looks while others keep her face natural.

Looking beautiful had been, if not one of my conscious goals, a subconscious one. I found myself surrounded by people judging others and me on all types of things like weight, clothes, hair, and nails.

Over the years, I’ve known the pain of getting my lip waxed and eyebrows threaded. Looking beautiful means painful, expensive, and time-consuming experiences of which most of time I have no patience or interest for.

I have a big nose that I have no intention of ever having surgery on. So looking “beautiful” in the eyes of society became another lost dream.

If there was a lesson from this lost dream, it helped me redefine “beauty” to include the beauty that radiates from within as cliche as it sounds. Beauty shines through our eyes, personalities, and actions.