At the beginning of each year many of us think this will be the year we make changes and get more out off life and become happy. In reality, not much changes and by the end of the year we feel bad for not having achieved anything that feels worthwhile.
Apparently the top 10 New Year resolutions are ;
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Live life to the fullest
- Save more money / spend less money
- Quit smoking
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Travel more
- Read more
I would like to do most these too, except for losing weight and quitting smoking, they are all big things, but we believe that they will make us more happy. Many people will have already given up, or like me won’t even have started yet as life gets in the way and most of the things we want are too vague and we feel overwhelmed by it or just realise it is not realistic. Then of course we get annoyed and feel like we have failed.
I have decided to write a post about each resolution, I would love to say I will do one a day, but know that is far beyond me, one a week would take us to the end of March!! So will just have to see how it goes and how much I ramble on or get distracted by other things, I am way behind even the once a week schedule, so much for resolutions!
No.5 Live life to the fullest
So how do you live life to the full, well to start it depends on what you think a full life is, I came across several different definitions;
“If you say that someone lives life to the full, you mean that they try to gain a lot from life by being always busy and trying new activities.” Collins Dictionary
“to enjoy doing a lot of different things” (Longman Dictionary)
“One should live a very full life, without fear of possible future consequences.” (Your dictionary)
An article by Holly Darton in Thought Catalogue concludes “Living life to the fullest can mean different things to everyone: jumping off cliffs, riding 100 mph down a country road, making endless memories with friends and families, reaching your goals, seeing the world. But I truly believe the concept has common ground for everyone. We all want to live this one life the best way we can. To come to the end of it and truly say “I lived.”” (Darton 2017)
How many times do we hear “Live each day as if it is your last” ?
What if you feel you are only living half a life? What if you have a busy day today, then tomorrow and several others days you can’t do much at all? What if you spend all your money and then have nothing left to live on?
Do we have to work hard and play hard to be happy and fulfilled? Is it about being busy all the time and only resting when it is bed time?
Is it about pushing yourself and always doing the most you possibly can? What if you can’t push yourself or some days you can push a bit, then other days you can’t? Does that mean you are not trying hard enough? Does it mean you have given up and don’t want anything from life?
Does living life to the full mean we have to be constantly busy? For many it does, for others they may feel that they get enough pleasure from a more relaxed existence and they see small things as big achievements so don’t feel they are always chasing something better.
In the UK 1,689 people die per day and 1,855 are born (https://worldpopulationreview.com/). The current population is 67,661,155 so for the majority of people it is not their last day and for those that it is their last day, most will not be in a fit state to live life to full.
Having said all this there is nothing wrong with living in the moment and finding joy and pleasure in things. It’s good to try new things and have plans for events to look forward to. Most of us book a holiday each year as something to look forward to and enjoy, I think we have this one a bit messed up as holidays are very stressful and rarely what we expect them to be, but we still go back for more , hoping this will be the one.
To be living life and enjoying life does it have to be something big? There is much pleasure to be had in little things too and often in unexpected things. If we are constantly busy and striving to do the most we can we miss the little pleasures.
We are all inclined to fill every minute and end up playing mindless games on our phones, or scrolling through social media and miss out on what is happening around us.. On social media we watch other people’s lives play out and often feel jealous that they have a better life than us, yet we feel that need to know what is going on. We could be spending the time doing something for ourselves instead. We get caught up in others arguments and opinions which often make us angry and again we could use that time for ourselves. When we are doing something for ourselves we end up spending half the time sharing it with others instead of enjoying it for ourselves and concentrating on the people we are with. If we create something we feel the need to share it, which is great when people tell you it’s good, but if people ignore it or criticise it then we feel bad, but keep going back for more. As someone who tries to make a bit of money from my creations I find it is spoiled by having to get decent photos and sharing on multiple social media outlets, but how else are people aware? It’s the way we all live. For some people this can work really well and they are just in the right place at the right time and gain leagues of followers. If you are like me hardly anyone sees them or show an interest which again zaps the pleasure of having created something.
So what will today bring? Assuming that the odds are in my favour and it is not my last day?! We are hoping that there will be some more work done on our new kitchen and it will begin to look more like the finished article, with a big step tomorrow as the worktops are fitted and we can finally start using the cupboard and cooking in the kitchen, instead of make do in the dining room. I need to take some pictures on the card I made yesterday, sadly only one as several didn’t work out as planned. I have some other card ideas to be working with. Then later my daughter has a dental appointment, she is very anxious so I need some energy to support her. So not living my life to the full, but having plenty to do and some of which will hopefully be pleasurable other bits not so. I think if I was to try and live a day as if it was my last I would end up spending most of it trying to decide what I wanted to do and then debating if it was the right thing to do so in the end probably wasting most of the day!!