Living the good life?

Ah Christmas. Here it comes. The time of year where we seem to run faster and fit more in – and when we’re suddenly supposed to be happier. When we get to catch up with people we haven’t seen for ages and maybe don’t really like. When we eat and drink so much we put on an average of 1-1.5 kilos each. When we suddenly realise it’s the end of yet another year and reflect on how few of our goals have actually been ticked off…

Wait wait wait! We Aussies can be so cynical! We may not mean to be, but as the SMH showed earlier this year, we’re far less positive than other nations, and less trusting as well. (I could think of several clever comments about this, but forced myself to restrain lest I proved the point!!)

Maybe we’re just very focused and have a lot on our plates. Recently, it took me until 3.30 in the afternoon (on the home-from-school run) to look up and see what a beautiful day it was. I mean, it was picture perfect in every way, and that fact had been completely ignored! How many fine days have you been unaware of recently? Good weather’s a free happiness boost everyone can capture – if only we choose to!

We also take a great deal for granted. We live in a country with peace, in an era of abundant food, education, entertainment and opportunities. We’re well connected and pretty well supported. It’s a good life. Yet mostly we ignore what good we have because we’re chasing better.

How good your life is depends on what truths you choose to look at. Like you, I could pick the negatives. There’s some health issues in our family, we’ve been in ‘managing money’ mode, we’ve had some disappointments lately. If I think about that and talk about that, I’m not inclined to feel my life’s going great. But if I look for the bright spots, we’ve just had some very fun birthdays, someone’s picked up a great job and we’ve done very well at school. Ah yes, we’re doing rather well.

So, what can we do?

Instead of noticing the black, why not notice the colours this Christmas season? Been invited to yet another party? You’re included with your family and associates. You have to sit through another end of year concert? What amazing opportunities your kids had this year. There’s so much food? Yes, there’s so much food!! Another boring present? Someone gave you a gift!

You’re smart, you get the point. You’re living the good life, if only you’d pay attention. Make the most of it this season, and find all you can to be grateful for.

PS If you’re still wrestling with the concept, this video came across my Facebook feed recently. It apparently went viral last Christmas, and it may help you appreciate the good life you have. It certainly made me smile. Although it’s by a church, it’s not religious. Go check it out. Also, last week’s post was about talking with strangers, if you find that adds to your stress load.