Have you heard this phrase yet, living your best life? It’s one of those buzz wordy kinds of phrases that I keep hearing but didn’t really think anyone understood what it meant.
So I thought about what living my best life might mean. Does that mean that I need to live my dream life? Quit my job and write full time? Seems like that would be great, someday.
Does that mean I can’t live my best life until then? Or did it maybe mean that I was interpreting that phrase wrong?
Choosing the nicer options of things you enjoy, and choosing to save on things you don’t care about.
Let’s say you’ve got to make a purchase. Anything from a cup of coffee to a new car, you have several options, generally ranging in quality and price.
Most of the time we focus on the cheapest, most convenient thing, especially if it’s for ourselves. That’s not always a horrible idea. We have budgets, we have families. We have savings plans. So maybe we can’t afford to get the best car, the $38.00 lipstick. It’s not realistic.
But what if you spend a little extra for that one car feature you really want? What if you get some inexpensive lipstick to afford some rocking foundation that makes your makeup look perfect? What if you just splurge and get a nice cup of coffee once a week to treat yourself?
Making time for fun
I am blessed to live within easy walking distance to our local park. So, sometimes the monsters and I pack up a lunch and go have a picnic there when the weather’s good. Sometimes we’ll all sleep in the living room after marathoning scary movies. And, of course, the weekly episodes of our shows are an event.
Little things that cost little to no money can make a week so much better. If you’re looking at your calendar and see nothing but chores and appointments, then you’re not excited about your life.
Putting a little extra in for yourself.
What are some little things you can do to upgrade your day? For me, it’s things like packing a nice lunch for myself, getting whipped cream for my coffee in the morning, or buying a body wash that I really love. It’s getting up a little earlier so I can put on makeup and spend some quiet time writing in the morning.
These might seem like simple things that shouldn’t matter. But think how much better your day with them.
Here’s an exercise I want you to try with me, especially if you feel like you’re just dragging yourself through most days. Grab a piece of paper, or flip to a blank page in your bullet journal. Start writing down things that you can do, that are in your control, to make a day a really good day.
Take your time, don’t rush. Keep going for as long as you can, thinking of as many wonderful, happy things as you can.
Once you have your list, pick one thing, and do it every single day for the next week. Then, pick something else from your list. See how much happier you can make your day.
Like your home
Full disclosure, I don’t like my house. It’s old and drafty and has un-ending plumbing problems. The walls in the living room are these nasty fake wood paneling, and the carpet is this awful dark hunter green.
But trying to find a house with three bedrooms and a yard in my price range is all but impossible. So I’m stuck with what I’ve got, at least until the kids move out.
I’ve learned that liking my house, liking any home, requires several things. Fortunately, they’re things that you can do anywhere.
- My bathroom must always be ready for an emergency spa day. That means face masks, bubble bath, scented candles and a nail file.
- My kitchen needs to always have quick snacks. I don’t ever want to be hungry in my own home.
- My house needs to be in order.
- I need a couch. (We lived without one for years. I don’t advise it.)
- My house needs to smell good.
If I can tick off all of these boxes, then it’s good to be home.
Like your job
I like my day job. It’s not writing, but it’s not torture. I’m respected, I’m good at what I do, and it’s not boring.
You should like your job, even if it’s not your dream job. You’re going to spend a lot of time there, at least until you get to do your dream job. So you should like it.
If you don’t like your job, then maybe you should find a new one. Think about what would make you happy to do every day. Or, at least, what wouldn’t make you miserable.
Learn to cook
I’m not super great at cooking. I’ll be honest, it’s because I lack patience. I have accidentally blown eggs up because I forgot they were boiling.
But over the years I’ve learned to make a week’s worth of meals that I and everyone in the house enjoys. I’ve made good friends with my crock pot because that is the best way to handle a cold day when you have to go to work.
No matter how bad of a cook you are, you can figure out a couple things you’re good at making. Or, at least you can make them in such a way that you like. And maybe it’s just because I’m very food oriented (it’s the southern in me) but if I know that the meal I’m having at the end of the day is a good one, I’m going to have a happier day. A good day is made better with a good dinner, and a bad day can be soothed.
Making every day good
Everyone loves vacations. We love day trips to amusement parks, days at the beach. Snow days where everyone’s home and enjoying everyone’s company. We love holidays, and movie premieres, and book launches. We love special days.
Not every day is a special day. The vast majority of days are average days. We get up, get the kids to school, go to work, come home and make dinner.
The thing of it is, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! If we wake up to a nice breakfast and a good cup of coffee, surrounded by people we love, to go to a job we enjoy, then come home to a home we adore and a good dinner, then that’s a pretty good life.
That’s your best life.