Haha, I only started this out by calling you guys ‘Dear Ones’ because it’s something Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ does in her Facebook posts all the time… And honestly, it sort of annoys me. Did it annoy you when I called you a ‘Dear One’? Or did you like it? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I actually LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert, and her Facebook posts just about always make me very happy, but the ‘Dear Ones’ thing just seems…patronizing? Old fashioned? I’m sure she doesn’t mean it that way AT ALL, because she seems like the sweetest person, but it rubs me the wrong way every time I hear it.
BUT if I can get past that (and I can), she writes some very inspiring mini essays on Facebook. Today she wrote a thought-provoking little post about not giving up the great for the good. She was recounting how there’s always the same amount of time in a day and we usually fill that time with GOOD things- important things that we need to do- such as emails, holiday shopping, jobs, housecleaning, etc. Most of these things are, of course, necessary to life. But then she said that there are GREAT things we can be doing with our days as well, and that we have time for them too.
Now, at this point in her post, I thought Ms. Gilbert was going to go on to explain great things to be ‘travel to Indonesia,’ or ‘learn to code,’or ‘go windsurfing’ or ‘‘volunteer at soup kitchens everywhere,’ or other major activities in a similar vein. Elizabeth Gilbert’s a travel writer and an inspirational speaker after all. I expected great things to equate to major goals I guiltily feel I SHOULD GET TO or want to get around to doing ‘some day.’
But instead her GREAT THINGS were the exact opposite. They included:
- Going for a long walk or a run alone on the beach, or in the woods, or in the city. (I LOVE doing this! This is, indeed, great!)
- Going to Target with my best friend for absolutely no reason (YES! I love going to department stores or even grocery stores with my best friend for absolutely no reason. Great!
- Sitting down at the end of the day with a glass of wine (I do this! I love this! Easy!)
- Calling my mom just to say hello (So simple. So doable. Yet I don’t always do it.)
Elizabeth Gilbert’s personal list consisted of activities that…were easy to do. And they provoked simple, easy joy because they were basic little things. And they blew my mind because I already did them! I’d just never considered them ‘great things’ before. But they are. And I don’t recognize them.
Many days, my ‘great things’ slip through the cracks while I anxiously check off a never-ending to do list.
We all have the same amount of time in a day…and we can fit great things into our lives in such doable ways. The requirement is only to recognize those teeny moments of joy and allow ourselves to live them.