Last week a friend told me she wanted to change something about her life. I asked her what she wanted to do in order to make that change and she replied with a laugh, "Nothing. I just want it to happen."
I couldn't understand her complacency towards something important. Often people look at how I live and say, "It must be nice." They act as if a wand has been waved over my head and everything I desire just magically comes to me. In some ways, since making my list of dreams, my life feels as if there's a miraculous energy creating a path for my dreams to come true. In truth, I work hard, push to have what I want, settle for nothing less than magnificence, say 'yes' to the opportunities that come my way, and at times I'm exhausted with how much I do in order to have what I desire.
Too many people are complacent about life. They get comfortable with a routine and though they want more, they don't push themselves to step out of their rut. Many times they blame something or someone on why they can't have what they desire and look for new personal relationships to make them feel alive again.
This past weekend some friends and I took six children camping. I watched as the kids stood in muddy water up to their knees catching tiny fish in plastic cups. They swung in the hammock laughing together, then ran off to find secret hiding places in the woods. The littlest one found a kitten and she spent half an hour patiently creeping towards it to make friends. More than once, I heard the words "I'm bored" when they couldn't find something new to keep them entertained.
Children find the world intriguing. They're excited to explore and they can't sit still for very long. When they're upset, they voice their emotions, crying them out until the pain passes, then run to play again. They see the world in a beautiful light where laughter is a part of their daily routine.
I'm not sure what happens on the way to adulthood that we forget how to really taste life. At some point we become complacent. I think many times it's when our lives haven't measured up to the vision we had as young adults. We give up on our dreams and allow fear, daily pressures, and past emotions to be our excuses. But what if everyday we searched for new ways to enjoy life - to explore our world and our relationships? What if we used the hours watching television to laugh, have a pillow fight with a kid, enjoy a sunset, play a new instrument, jump on a trampoline, or plan a getaway.
In going after my dreams I feel as if there isn't enough time in one life to experience everything I desire, and I've made over thirty-four of my big dreams come true in the last two years. But in going after the big things, I've learned to enjoy the little things as if they were as big as my most spectacular dreams - like roasting marshmallows by a campfire or just going to a park to read a book.
So many people say that they don't have time to do what they want in life. But they only have one life to explore this incredible world. How can they not make the time to enjoy it?