Learning To Live In The Moment
It’s no secret around here that I bloody love going on holiday. I love the excitement that comes with exploring new places and the buzz I get from learning about different cultures. But the thing I love most of all about getting away is that it gives me the space to remember what is truly important in life. Our trip to Berlin has been blissful. We’ve explored different areas of the city and eaten some great food. We’ve had fun nights out with our friends and nursed some pretty epic hangovers. We’ve visited some really interesting museums and discovered some super cool shops. Our time away has been filled with so much fun, but the thing that has made it feel like such a fab holiday is that I’ve been able to fully enjoy it there and then, in the moment.
It was the first holiday in ages where I managed to properly switch off and just enjoy myself. I put a couple of Instagram snaps up, but I wasn’t worrying about scheduling tweets or churning posts out. I left my work Blackberry switched off in the bottom of my suitcase and neither Sam or I checked our emails once. We both prioritised really relaxing into our holiday, enjoying each other’s company properly and making the most of everything that Berlin has to offer. It was bloody great.
But it also got me thinking about how rarely I do that. I’m always worrying about my to do list or checking my social media feeds or skim reading the hundreds of emails creeping into my inbox. It’s not very often that I allow myself to fully relax and enjoy making memories with my loved ones.
But that has got to change. Because after just 4 days of switching off and living in the moment, I feel a million times better. I feel relaxed and happy in a way that will make me so much more productive when I head back to work. I feel closer to Sam for having spent some quality time together. Tuning in to life and thoroughly enjoying our time in Berlin has made me feel inspired and full of ideas and passionate again.
This trip has been great for so many reasons, but mainly because it’s reminded me that the most important thing in life isn’t making money or having the most successful career or saying yes to every single opportunity that comes your way. The most important thing is making memories with the people you love. It’s laughing until your stomach physically aches. It’s exploring the world with your favourite people by your side. It’s squeezing every last drop of contentment out of the moments that make you feel most alive. Because those are the things we’ll remember when we’re old and grey and fading - not how much money we earned or how many promotions we had.
I didn’t realise how much I needed reminding of that - the last few weeks have seen me burning the candle at both ends and running myself into the ground at an alarming speed. I was so determined to get back on track in January that I didn’t even notice that every waking minute was consumed by thinking about work or my blog or other projects. It’s not a healthy or sustainable way to live.
This trip has made me determined to make living in the moment a priority this year. I’ll be making sure I don’t end the working week feeling too exhausted to fully enjoy the weekend. I’ll be making sure Sam and I have plenty of date nights and trips away without checking our phones every five minutes. An I’ll be making sure I prioritise spending as much time as possible with my family and friends rather than squeezing in as much work as possible. Because these are all the things that make life worth living.
I’ve been guilty in the past of thinking that I have so much time to enjoy these things at a later date, once I’ve whittled down my to do list or proven what I can do professionally. I’ve been guilty of thinking that because someone was paying me a salary, I owed them everything I had to give. But I know firsthand how unpredictable life can be. I know all too well that we’re not always guaranteed more time to enjoy. And I don't want to waste even one more day not living in the moment, not squeezing every single drop of goodness out of this life that I have right now. And if that means that it takes me longer to build a successful career or achieve everything that I’d like, then so be it. Because there’s no job in the world that is more important than truly enjoying your life.