Wake up early, make breakfast, get the kids ready, walk the dog, head to work, slog through 8-12 hours of work, come home, make dinner, eat dinner on the couch and watch television into the evening, crash. Repeat at least 5 days a week.
It is all worth it, right? As long as we are making decent money because one day we will be able to retire and do all of the things we have been putting off.
But what if that day doesn’t come for any number of reasons? Have you ever stopped to consider our impending mortality?
Fortunately, I often think about the fact that each day is a gift and not a guarantee in my gratitude practice, and that is where my mantra of making every day an adventure comes from. Adventure is one of the main values that drive me in my life, so I have a strong desire to make it part of my everyday world.
We tend to feel like we are working towards some end so that we can have more of something in the future. I call that living for the future rather than living in the present.
I dream about a world where we all make our lives great almost every day, whatever your life mantra is. Of course, you are going to have bad days, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be guided on an everyday basis by the things we value most in this world. If that is health, put it your health first, if that is family, put your family first, if it is adventure and exploration like me, put it first.
We work 48-50 weeks per year so that we can take 2 weeks to go on our dream vacation. Assuming a 40 hour work week, which is less common than you might imagine, this means we work 2000 hours, so we can enjoy 80 hours truly off. We work for a proverbial 4% of our dream lives. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like a fair trade-off. Not to mention the people who don’t manage to take all the provided time off.
If we only get 2 weeks vacation, how can we still manage to build the lives of our dreams?
It is simple: make your life at home and work – your vacation. For someone like me, I like to visit tropical beach destinations, so my idea of a getaway means hammocks, outdoor showers, and beach vibes. In my backyard, we have some hammocks, we added an outdoor shower and guess what, I live by the beach.
Don’t get me wrong, I also do a ton of other things to ensure that every day matches my adventures. But there are so many small things we can do within our everyday lives to ensure that we are living the dream – without quitting your job and running away to a tropical island.
Is one of your favorite things about vacation or a getaway taking time to savor your cup of coffee? Implement that habit at home. Do you love particular hotel decor that feels luxurious and screams relaxation to you? Update your decor right here at home to match your favorite hotel.
I personally love infused water that you find in spas or hotels when traveling. So guess what? I have a pitcher at home where I can make my own infusions. Maybe you just love that someone cleans your room for you when you are on vacation, and you don’t have to. Can you find a way to afford some home cleaning help by minimizing another expense?
Maybe it isn’t about getting away, but rather having the time you get to be with your loved ones. Make breakfast at your house an event every day. Who needs to wait for Sunday for pancakes? Or perhaps it is leaving the office an hour earlier every other day to get in that sunset run in your favorite park or along the beach. I know, easier said than done!
In the process of designing your best life, be sure that you are doing the small things that bring you great joy. You don’t have to quit your job and travel the world to ensure that you are living your best life. For many of us, we like working just as much as we like adventuring – in fact, it is part of the adventure.
The key here is to identify 3 or 4 things that make you feel the happiest and the most relaxed and that bring you the most joy. Then figure out if it is possible to implement them. You might not be able to bring the beaches of the Caribbean to your backyard – hauling in that much sand can get expensive – but you can find something that will invoke the feelings of being in the Caribbean.
Don’t live life in the 4% – live 100% and make every day an adventure. Get yourself that outdoor shower or whatever it is that helps you live your best life.
Let me know in the comments below what adjustments or changes you made to help you start living the life of your dreams.
Written from my Oasis of a Backyard