Somehow our lives these days seem to be dominated by anxieties about the future. Or worries from the past. And the endless struggle for more money and possessions.
But none of these will make you happy. Because life’s actually all about moments. Experiences that cost next to nothing, but which make life truly worth living. OK, you have to work to keep body and soul together. And plan for tomorrow. But try to pause as often as you can, and consciously experience your life as it unfolds. In the moment. Without taking a selfie…
Like listening to the leaves starting to shiver, just before a storm. Hearing the first few drops of rain. That amazing smell as they hit warm dry earth. Feeling your heart and breathing slowing down after you stop running.
That moment when you know you’ve just had a really good idea. Or made a perfect pass in a football game. That effortlessly balanced lean as your bike corners. The first time you realise that you’re really good at something.
Hearing your parents say that they’re proud of you. Recognising you’re no longer afraid of something genuinely scary - like making a speech. Losing track of time because you’ve become so involved in what you’re doing. Finishing a long and difficult task, confident that you’ve done it really well.
Waking from a dream that’s so vivid you can’t quite tell whether you’re still asleep or actually awake. Feeling fresh and clean as you come out of the shower. Slipping on a clean dry shirt. Pulling on an pair of perfectly fitting shoes.
Making someone laugh. That moment when a new girlfriend kisses you back, only harder. Suddenly realising that you’re falling in love, and that your boyfriend loves you too. Your husband rubbing your bare back for you. Feeling your wife snuggling up to you in the middle of the night.
Kissing your half awake partner in the dawn, because you’ve suddenly realised how much they mean to you. Making love in the afternoon. Watching your children playing at being grownups. Suddenly feeling close to something greater than you.
Realising that something you just said has made a difference to someone’s life. The ending of a really good film. Closing a book that’s just changed you. The moment you realise that you’ve truly forgiven someone. Hearing your raffle ticket being called. That moment when you finally finish paying off a loan.
The setting sun glinting on the sea. A full moon hanging just above the horizon. Long slow meals, deep conversations, and laughter with good friends. Watching someone open a gift you’ve just given them. Suddenly realising you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.
Letting yourself relax and read a book. Staring into a campfire. Losing yourself in a song. The first sip of an ice cold beer.
Remembering the joyful - and not so joyful - moments from the past that made you who you are. Appreciate every one of them.