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March 1, 2021

Life is what happens "in between"

I am the first one to admit that I LOVE Social Media. Being single and alone with a lot of my free time, social media allows me to be social in my jammies. To catch up with old friends and to put stuff out there to spark conversation or get a laugh.

The problem, though, is that what you see posted by others on social media can make your life seem boring and can cause depression or anxiety that you are not living your best life. What is important to remember is that someone’s social media feed is simply their “highlight reel” and that they, too, have a boring life. LOL

I call this the blah of the “in between”, and it can tend to make us restless and unhappy, or even depressed! But REAL life happens in the “in between”. That’s where the good stuff hides right in plain sight! The stuff that doesn’t make the highlight reel but is the meat and potatoes of who you are.

Just tonight I sat and listened to my youngest grandson talk. It seems like his vocabulary has doubled overnight.. and then he starts with “Whaw Whaw” – like the sound the adults made in the Charlie Brown cartoons, letting me know that I was rambling. It was epic!

What do I mean by the “in between”, you ask? – The in between is the stuff that happens between the events of life like the graduating high school, the beginning college, the graduating college, the getting that big job, the wedding, the birth of a child, the big vacation, the losing the 20 pounds, the obtaining the goal you’ve worked towards. … the Whaw Whaw’s.

The elation we feel when we reach a certain goal or pinnacle in our life is wonderful, amazing, glorifying.. but short lived. Real life happens in between. The moments that tickle your heart, make you grin, or bring tears – or maybe just being satisfied with folded laundry.

I’m a very goal orientated person. As soon as I reach one, and sometimes even BEFORE, I’m already thinking about my next one. While this has served me very well to stay motivated and moving forward, it also tends to make one feel like nothing is ever good enough.. and it also tends to make one “miss out” on the beauty of the day to day.. the ‘in between’. While I truly believe I’ll never “ring the bell” and stop creating goals and moving forward, I am trying to learn to just be still as well.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Jun 11, 1986 Ferris Bueller

Between goals or major life events we can tend to feel stuck, or bored and become restless. Perhaps we scroll through social media and see all the great things happening to others, their “highlight reel”, and wonder why OUR life is so dull. – We need to remember that the social media posts are usually the “events” not the in between – and BLESS THOSE that post about the day to day! ~ Keepin’ it REAL!

What we must continue to remember is that most of the fun of reaching a goal is the road to it! The trip usually contains much more juice than the destination.

I don’t know if you ever did Grisswald type family road trip vacations, but my family did. I was very young at the time, but I still remember some of it, and they are memories that will stay with me forever.

Sure, the destination was glorious, but the adventure, the juice, was in the “getting there”.

I remember a caravan of 3-4 cars, at least one of which was a woody sided Vista Cruiser type station wagon with the seats that folded toward each other in the back. (that’s where I got to ride, with my stuffies and blankets and pillows)

There was no GPS, only paper folded up maps that were helpful, if you looked at them, I guess. I remember caravan U-turns where we would wave at the car at the end of the line as we passed it going the other direction! Laughing and teasing Dad about making the wrong turn or being lost – we were always the lead car, from what I can remember…. I guess they had to blame SOMEONE for getting us lost, and Dad was the most easy-going guy in the bunch to take the blame and light hearted verbal abuse.

Sometimes I would ride in one of the other cars for a change of pace. I remember riding with my relatives, in their version of the vista cruiser. Their car was already packed with their own tribe, so I just squeezed in between my Aunt and uncle in the front seat. I remember quite vividly my uncle picking his nose and wiping it on his pants, right next to me! EWWWW – even as a 5 yr old, that grossed me out! And I’m determined to block out the “peeing in a bottle” so we don’t have to stop situation indefinitely… Although I just mentioned it, so it’s a work in progress.

We didn’t have much money, but we had such fun. There were no fancy hotels, we camped as we went down the West Coast on our way to California. Every few days we would be blessed with a Motel 6 with a pool and shower, although the shower wasn’t a huge priority at my age – the pool, however, was life goals!

My point is, sometimes the funnest part of a goal, a destination, a life event, is working towards it!

I’ve been on many vacations since. Many expensive, luxurious vacations – but the ones taken on a budget with a family that loved being together, still take up a huge part of my heart and memories.
As one who tends to always be working towards something in front of me, like a donkey with a carrot, I need to remind myself to stop, breath and be in the moment. It’s a struggle and living in the here and now is always hard for me to do. This blog actually helps. It helps me to SIT and THINK and REMEMBER.

What is the saying?
Living in the past creates Depression
Living in the future creates Anxiety
But living in the present creates Peace … and joy (my addition)

We make time for the things that mean the most to us.
You may be CHOOSING to be too busy to make that call, push the child on the swing, or walk the dog for the joy of it.

Stop saying “I can’t” and replace it with “I won’t” and you will change your life.

This past year (of the RONA) was a blurr. I look back and see that I spent the entire time waiting for it to be over and didn’t get shit done!! All that time I was out of work I could have created great art work, written the next great novel or gotten into shape.. nope. – but I can’t worry about time that was wasted only the time I have now.
My priorities have changed. The vision for my future has changed. What and who I spend my time on has changed.

Life is a precious thing. Drink up EVERY MOMENT of it. Sit and soak in the “in between”.
I know this blog went all over the place, but that’s kind of how my mind works!