Take a break

Today’s society is too overworked. We are all too busy trying to get ahead to “keep up with the Jones'” or “to live the American dream.” We have forgotten how to relax and take pleasure in even the smallest joys in life.

I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Love, Pray,” at the moment. She talks about the Italians ability to do nothing, and find pleasure in the simplest things.

Since having kids, I have learned to slow down and marvel at the simplicities of life. We just returned from a family vacation and I enjoyed every moment of it. This year we travelled to Florida. My both my daughters adore the beach. When my oldest, who is 2, saw me packing the sun screen, she started yelling “beach, beach, beach!” We were fortunate to stay right on Daytona Beach and showed her in the morning that the beach was right outside her window. She loved running down the beach. Even our youngest daughter who is 1 was infatuated by the waves and the ocean and loved splashing in the water.

There was a point where I decided to drive down this one road just because. We ended up driving past some gorgeous waterfront houses. We also had fun trying to drive at least once over every bridge in Daytona. My husband reminded me that the old Jen would never had done fun things like that. It may seem weird, but you need to learn to relax and enjoy life.

I also marveledĀ at taking Reika on the Super Grover rollercoaster at Busch Gardens, and watching Reese splash away in the water parks. Or stopping for all you can eat ribs, then having to go eat another meal immediately so the good Southern hospitality would not go to waste.

Take time out of your day to enjoy life’s pleasures. It could be as simple as taking a walk through a park at lunch, or having a hot bubble bath before you go to bed, or enjoying the moment of having your child climb all over you.

Everyone deserves to experience true bliss. Find that inner child in you and go make mud pies. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama. Find out what makes you happy.

Life is like a box of chocolate…

I love this quote from one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” In a box of chocolates, you have your favorites, then you have the ones you hope someone else picks. Life is like that where you have the moments you wish would last forever, and the moments you wish would go away.

You need to learn to live life without major expectations. I’m on holidays right now, and I left on my trip with no major expectations. When you have 2 young children, you can’t afford to live by a strict schedule. Only a few minutes after arriving at the airport, we had an unexpected turn in events. We decided to just go with the flow. Even when a few hiccups happen, when you simply let the events unfold without complaint, things will turn out for the good.

Also, remember to take some time to spend with your family. As nice as it is to spend time alone, it is also nice to spend time with the ones you love.

Learn to go with the flow, and take each event in stride, then you will live an enjoyable life.

Spontaneity sparks the most magical moments.

Sometimes the best moments in life happen spontaneously. We need to relearn to let our hair down, to dance in the rain and enjoy life. Observe a young child, everything is spontaneous. They don’t sit there and plans for weeks, months, or years in advance what they are going to do at any given moment. At times we spend too much time planning.

Years ago when I was a Spark’s leader, I showed up one night to find out the leader who was supposed to plan that evening decided not to show up. I was left with another leader with no plan for the evening. I quickly looked in our craft box and realized there were some paper bags, string, googly eyes and some other craft supplies. I made an on the spot decision to make paper bag puppets. The other leader who was with me that evening said I seemed so organized.

So take what you have on hand and do something spontaneous.