I have to say, this week was just amazing. From spending hours learning lots of things, to realizing a TON of things about myself, to communicating with absolutely amazing people, it’s been a full week.
One thing that seemed to come up a few times was being in the middle of your story, whether it was conversations or seminars. It’s hard to be in what I’m calling “the middle of the story.” You know what I mean – the times when you can’t see the finish line, when it looks like there’s no way the bills will be paid, when it feels like you’ll be stuck at the job forever. But it also struck me that we are ALWAYS in the middle of our story. If you are alive, you are in the middle of your story, no matter what. So there should be some solace knowing there are still things to come.
Ok, so we know it’s the middle of the story. There is still more to come. But how do we find joy where we are? Here are a few ways I try to find joy.
– I remember how far I’ve come. I’m a big believer in tracking your progress and having a record of what you’ve already done. I love looking up at my daily checklist and seeing my consistent showing up in a few areas. Some days it’s super small steps, but each day is a step. Facebook’s On This Day has been a huge source of remembering the past for me. I can see what I was talking about, complaining about, wishing about, etc. I can see pre-Bret Jennilyn looking for love, I can see pre-engagement Jennilyn wondering if she’d marry Bret, etc. Ha ha, I can also see pre-minimalist Jennilyn versus the minimalist Jennilyn of today.
– I take time to celebrate the things I HAVE done. It can be so easy to wish for things we want to do. I want to visit all 50 states. I want to travel here. I want to buy this thing. But if I take a few minutes to remember the places I have been, the experiences I have already had, and things I have bought, I’m blown away by the sheer volume of them.
– I try to stop, and enjoy where I am TODAY. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today. Whether it’s “I am having an AWESOME and productive day!” or “I am having a terrible day and I need a nap.” In both cases, I embrace what I’m experiencing, and celebrate my growth. My past self used to work way too hard and was way too hard on herself for not meeting unrealistic goals. My current self has gotten a lot better at self love and letting poor tired Jennilyn take a nap or take the day off.
– I remember that every moment is a chance to start over, to change my perspective about something, to enjoy the fact that I may not see Mordor yet, but I’m on my way to the mountain and will get the one ring there.
How do you find joy in the middle of your story? Let me know in the comments below.
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