“If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow or next year.” -Thomas Dreier
Have you ever formed an insight about yourself that seems completely obvious in retrospect? I had one of those realizations not too long ago.
I woke up to the sound of raindrops dancing on my window pain. I’ve always said that I dislike the rain, because my mood often dims when the sky turns gray. But on this particular day, the rain seemed beautiful.
As I sat in my home office (read: the two feet behind my couch) writing and editing, the rain became a soothing companion, as well as a perfectly valid reason to not be outside.
On every other day, the Los Angeles sun calls to me, tempting me to abandon my laptop to enjoy the bright outdoors.
That day, without the distraction of gorgeous weather, I found myself far more productive than usual.
Right then I realized I always feel more satisfied with my work when I work with my preferences, not against them. And I prefer to be outside when it’s sunny. So I’ve now been making a conscious effort to write by hand in parks and outdoor cafes. Obviously I can’t do all my work this way—but what’s important is that I can do some.
I realize we all have different obligations and options, but for each of us, there are options. Some of them will work with our temperaments and likes, and others will engender internal resistance. Perhaps the key to loving what we do is not just enjoying the work itself, but to also paying attention to how we choose to do it.
That might mean putting fresh flowers on your desk because they make you happy. Or having a meeting over coffee because it gets you out of the office. Or keeping your iPod handy so you can work to your favorite music.
Life will inevitably involve a lot of things that we can’t control. Why not make the proactive choice to enjoy as much as we can?
Photo by 7ino