Make the Most of Today

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Our journey to Living Life More wouldn’t be done justice if we didn’t make a point to share this thought, Make the Most of Today.  We are young enough we still dream and go and do and I hope we never loose our sense of adventure.  But we are also old enough to have seen and experienced tragic losses of people we loved or cared about.  Today is really all we can be sure of.  

Most of us have numerous responsibilities; work, kids, homes, bills, etc… but we all have the same 24 hours in a day and what sets us apart from others is how we choose to spend them.  I know that we aren’t always the best at remembering this everyday, but here are a few things we have learned along the way to help make the most of today and hopefully help you feel you are living life more!

josh puddle jumping playing in the rainPlay in the Rain

When was the last time you played in the rain, or jumped in a puddle?   “Playing” the way you did unashamedly as a child will wake up your senses and make you laugh and feel alive!! It’s an exercise in getting out of your comfort zone and in stopping the worry about what others may think, but if you can get yourself to “Play” again, you won’t regret it!

Try Something New

How do you know if you will love it, if you will be good at it, or if it will be fulfilling if you never try?  It’s exhilarating trying new things!  I would rather be a bit scared and say I did it than regret that I never tried.

I can't believe I did thatcaleb wakeboarding learning to wakeboard

Accomplish one of the “BIGGIES”

Mt BierdstadtWe are all much more capable than most of us give ourselves credit for.  You can train your mind and body to do just about anything!! I personally have felt like I was living life to the fullest at the finish line of a marathon or the top of a 14,000 ft mountain!  Go out and do something that you consider BIG and then celebrate that accomplishment!  Even brag a little – you earned it! 

Spend time doing things you LOVE or bring you peace & joy!

 bible study

This is different for everyone, from running or yoga, to bible study or reading a good novel, whatever it is that you just LOVE that moment because it is almost transcendent the peace and joy you feel in your spirit – DO THAT often!!!  Daily if you can!

OF COURSE – Spend time with those you love!

Celebrate life with those you love, hug, appreciate, and adore them.  Sure some people we love also drive us crazy at times, but we wouldn’t be who we are or have the life journey we do without them!  birthday 37

There are a ton more, like lighten up and laugh, have the glass of wine (or three:), get a good nights sleep for once, etc… but most of all don’t take your life journey for granted.  Be grateful every day and live this life like its the only chance you have to make a difference and a footprint on earth, because it is!

I no longer take anything for grantedThis picture was taken at the Columbine memorial.

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The NEXT

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Remember the song lyrics? Something like, “should I stay or should I go now? If I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be double.” Well isn’t that the truth! You know, not everyone is going to agree with you if you decide that you want to do something ‘out of the box’. My conclusion is that as we share our passion to bigger and larger things than we have experienced in the past, as we desire to expand our boundaries, it makes some people uncomfortable. For some the unknown is a scary place to be. For others they reside in the unknown. We have come to appreciate a bit of the middle ground!

Some people look at the dreams you share with them through a lens of ‘how does this affect me?’ others ‘what if my loved one gets hurt (physically or emotionally)’ and still others just can’t get on board because they don’t understand the desire the fuels your dream and may even feel a bit jealous that they aren’t as “brave” as you.

All I know is that making small steps towards Living Life More is causing a little commotion and only a handful of people ‘get it’ and are cheering us on. We are excited for what we are referring to as the NEXT in our lives. What’s next? We aren’t sure yet, but here’s whats on the agenda for the coming few months: more downsizing of our stuff, more resumes being sent out, a long weekend to the gulf coast of Fl, and a little jaunt out to California. We are going to check out some cities, some shore lines, and enjoy exploring and making memories. The hope is these little steps will bring us closer to the edge where we get to JUMP into the NEXT and continue to Live Life More!  We would love to hear about your NEXT!! Drop us a line!

From the great philosopher Dolly Parton 😉 When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.
your empty board

Random Thoughts on Happiness

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live life happy photo

Random Thoughts on Happiness

Wikipedia defines Happiness as: Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

I am in my upper 30’s now and maybe in an early mid life crisis, I am not sure, but I know that my desire to Live Life More comes from a deeper seeded desire to be ‘happy’.  You could interchange that word in my life with peaceful, joyful, stress-free, zen, etc… You get the idea.  Currently I am feeling stressed, tired, frustrated, some days angry, discontent, etc… Again you get the idea.  So what to do about it?

Well some people tell me it is just a mind shift, and I agree to some extent, we can control our thoughts and emotions and need to learn to take hold of both.  One of my favorite books tells us we should ‘take every thought captive’, maybe it is one of your favorite books too?  But because I am a believer I also believe that God gives us each desires and dreams that are meant for us alone.  The ones that we are meant to live out by design.  It is what is driving me now, knowing there is more for me, my husband, my family.  If you haven’t picked up the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, I highly recommend it.  It is a quick parable that will help you reignite your passions and dreams that were given to you.

A close friend has also advised me with some great advice that I am always striving toward, “Don’t let your highs be too high or your lows be too low.”  Okay, so feel, but don’t get so caught up in the feeling that it overwhelms you and takes you down paths you may look back on with regret.  Got it.

For too long my husband and I have lived by head knowledge, with a little heart stuff thrown in.  We have had great things and terrible things come from both, but I know when we have followed our hearts, most times it has worked out for the better, and when it didn’t and our hearts were broken, it was through the healing that we became stronger people and a stronger couple.  So we have decided that as much as is possible we will strive to listen first to our hearts in our decision making and life goals and a little less to logic.

This may mean (and certainly does in this newest season of our lives) less money.  This may mean saying no to some things or (ugh) some people that we love.

I thought about some things, places or activities where I feel ‘happy’, content and most at peace.  Here’s a few items from my list –

  1. At the Beach!
  2. Outside in Nature (not in the snow however)
  3. Music
  4. Running (some days 🙂 )
  5. When the house is clean
  6. Enjoying a meal with people I love
  7. Enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or a book or a bath – oh who am I kidding, just Enjoying a glass of wine. (period)
  8. Dancing
  9. Writing
  10. Watching baseball (especially if my son is playing)
  11. Bible Study Time
  12. Worship

I am left wondering where some of the things I have chosen to add to my life over the years fall into all of that?  For example, notice my pets are not on that list, hmmmm…maybe I am not meant to own pets? They give me some enjoyment, but also a great deal of frustration (see the bullet point 5 – ‘clean house’).

Notice work is not on there, but we all (most of us) have to do it, right?  Could I get paid to do something on the list?  I am working on that idea! Feel free to chime in with some ideas!

So I am in a season of evaluation.  It is quite interesting what I am feeling day to day, even moment to moment as I examine my life, my goals, and my happiness.  And to make it all more complex it isn’t all about me, I have my husband and my kids to think about and sometimes what makes one of us happy isn’t what makes the other happy, throw in there my faith and aiming to please my Father God, and some days I wonder if I will ever get there!  I know I will, it’s all part of the journey to Living Life More.

In the meantime, while I contemplate, decipher, and adjust to find happiness, I think I will take a little break and listen to some music (see above bullet point 3, I may even throw in some 8 while I am at it 🙂  Won’t you join me?

 

What I want to be when I grow up is … HAPPY

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  How many times was I asked this in my childhood?  How many times have I poised the question to my three boys?  Each time I asked my kids this question I think I was secretly hoping for a realistic, well thought out answer with their plan to make it happen to follow.

Recently, at just a few years away from the big 4-0, I started asking myself this very question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  I began wondering because I am quite sure that this can’t be it.  I am feeling there must be more.

I had never before thought to think of a simple answer that wasn’t tied to a title or a salary until I got so fed up of the daily grind and the struggle of “keeping up with the Jones’s” that I thought, what if we quit basing our big life decisions all on money and instead on quality of life? What if we Lived Life More?

The thought makes my heart beat faster, makes my skin sweat, makes me freak out just a bit.  It is so foreign to me, but I don’t think it is foreign to everyone, all over the internet I find like minded people who are living life more, they are doing things differently than the rest.  If they can do it, then maybe, just maybe, we can too?

One such blog I have stumbled upon in the last few days was http://www.playwithlife.org/  I can’t wait to dig in a bit further in this blog and learn from it’s author.  One question I am faced with is how to translate this desire we have for a more free lifestyle to my children.  On the Play With Life blog I was introduced to a TED video that I hadn’t seen before, a kid about the age of my middle child, speaking about life in a way that made me tear up.

My heart screamed YES!  That is what I want my kids to know and how I want them to approach their lives.  I don’t want them to chase a career or a pay check, I want them to chase passion and experiences, and I want them to laugh and be happy and healthy.  Oh, so many regrets filled my head as we have tried for so long to teach them the mold of life – go to school, get a good job, buy a house, have some kids, pay your bills, take a vacation here and there… I don’t want them to wait till they are nearly 40 to wake up to their dreams and feel regret of wasted time.   If all those things I just mentioned wind up being their dream, then great!  But if they want to travel, be balloon artists, or a cruise ship director then I want to encourage them to go for it!

This is quite the mind shift for us and is about to change our whole life, I don’t know how yet, I don’t know the time frames, I don’t known the details,  I don’t know the outcome, but I know the journey will be one to chronicle – I hope you will follow us as we Journey to Live Life More!

 

Transient: Where will we land next? Florida?

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Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Transient: Where will we land next? Florida?

tran·sient
ˈtranSHənt,-ZHənt,-zēənt/
noun
  1. a person who is staying or working in a place for only a short time.
    synonyms: hobovagrantvagabond, street person, down-and-out;

    The journey began with a boy and a girl who fell in love in small town Iowa as just teenagers.  As youth we couldn’t wait to shake off that little town that we have now learned to appreciate and even love in some ways.

    Next a real city (in Iowa – does that count?) for college, marriage, and our first home.  It couldn’t sustain the desires of our hearts to break away.

    Individually Colorado and those beautiful mountains held an appeal to both of us, and one day the doors opened and off we set with our three year old and 7 month old for the Rockies.  We broke some hearts when we left, we also went broke when we left, but oh how the happy we are that we did it!  Two towns, three homes, several jobs, a new baby, new and forever friends, mountain camping, marathons, 3 surgeries, countless hard lessons learned and 13 years of Colorado’s beautiful weather and we are feeling that itch again.

    Seems we can’t stay too long in one place,  we like to experience new things, start fresh every now and then, and we hope to do it more frequently as time goes on. Whether it’s a quick trip, or planting for a few years you may say we are transient in nature – travelers, drifters.

    What’s next? The Ocean is a calling to us.  Maybe Florida?  Have you lived there, know someone that does?  We would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and experiences about Florida!!

The only courag…

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The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want. – Oprah Winfrey

My husband and I have a great life, one we created.  3 kids, life in the ‘burbs’ of Denver, jobs in our ‘chosen’ fields, great friends, loving family, what more could we want?

I believe each person is born with a dream, for some our current life is their dream and it is good and fulfilling to them.  For us, we built the life we thought was the young american’s dream, and then we waited to feel fulfilled. While we waited we added many things in, threw many things out, chased, climbed, and stumbled trying to make our lives feel like we had finally ‘arrived’.

We have struggled with why this great life isn’t enough for us. Are we plain selfish?  Are we crazy?  Are we so lost that nothing will ever fill the gaping hole we feel?  I hope to share with you our Journey to living our life to the fullest. Living Life More.  Some things will be small changes, just minor shifts, others I suspect will make your stomach flip that anyone would be so bold or courageous (or maybe stupid).  Our hope is that my husband and I along with our children begin to live with no regrets, and in doing so we want to share here on our blog and hope that you will feel encouraged to examine your own life, dust off any hidden dreams, figure out if you are living the life  you were created to live or the one you thought you were supposed to.  How will you Live Life More today? What is your journey?  Won’t you join us on ours?