25 May 2015

Are you an Experience Collector?

I have this habit of wishing I was in a different season of life; a habit of wishing time away, because it seems the future will be so much better. Please tell me I'm not the only one?
  • When studying, we wish we working instead;
  • when we have little brothers and sisters, we hate how they pester us and wish they would just go away;
  • when we get our first part-time job, we wish we could hurry up and go to university to get a "real" job;
  • when we are at university, we wish those years were over and that we could start practising our profession;
  • when we are kids, we wish we could be adults;
  • when we are single, we wish we had a boy/girlfriend;
  • when we get a boy/girlfriend, we wonder if one day we will marry them;
  • when we reach adulthood, we begin to dream of our own house / babies / moving somewhere new / travelling / etc.;
  • and sometimes, as adults, we even wish we were at one of those beginning stages again! - studying; in our first (easy!) part-time job... simply a child.
I am quite confident that when I am 79 years old I will look back and kick myself for wishing those seasons away.

I saw a billboard recently that showed this picture:

This got me thinking.

We usually highlight the "big" stuff in our lives - nice holidays, events such as weddings and birthday milestones, etc. Yet I wonder: do we fully experience the day-to-day?

Very often, we drag ourselves through the mundane, hoping that eventually we will come out on the other side in a far more exciting place - only to find that the place that we thought would be exciting has its own struggles.

Intentionally collecting experiences may very well change our lives.

I, for one, want to stop looking ahead to something that is "bigger and better" (or even looking behind to "the good old days") and learn to live in the moment -

  • to use my long journey to work every single day to enjoy a book or a chat with a friend on the phone;
  • to enjoy the taste of simple, nourishing food;
  • to put down my phone when I am around my family and friends;
  • to stop and enjoy a sunset, a flower, a street performer;
  • to appreciate a good cup of coffee or tea;
  • to engage with friends via text or email when I don't get to see them often;
  • to chat with workmates and relax a little in the middle of a busy day...
The possibilities are endless!!

When I grow up [ ;) ], I want to look back and be satisfied that I have experienced my life to the full, not only in "big" events or during life-changing seasons, but also (and maybe more importantly) during the day-to-day journey of life.

Are you an experience collector? What types of experiences would you like to enjoy more fully? Please share below in the comments!


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