Life is short. Everyone knows this. We have (usually) 70-110 years on this rock we call home, assuming everything goes according to plan. Why then are we so hard on ourselves?
I’m a big advocate of staying fit and healthy (duh). I’m also a big advocate of changing your lifestyle to get that way. I love seeing people at the gym, or out walking, or cycling, who have made a decision to change their lives around where diet and exercise are concerned. But sometimes I think we get stuck on the improvement, while not appreciating what we have already.
I turn 40 this year. Yes, I know, let the “you’re old, dude!” jokes start. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate what I have and how far I’ve come. I honestly like who I am; I couldn’t always say that (a long time ago). I have a wonderful wife, two fun cats, great friends, great training partners, a great job, great family, and my health. I’m fitter now than I was 20 years ago. I’m driven, focused, and have targets in mind for my long-term goals. I’m happy.
I think more people, no matter where they are in their lives, need to take a step back and examine what they like about themselves and appreciate what they have. So you’re overweight? Does your family love you? Yes? There ya go. Yeah, you want to lose 20, 30, 50, 100lbs…but do it for yourself, because you like yourself. And do it knowing that you’re worth appreciating. Love yourself for who you are, not who you want to be. Be happy!
We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves…but that should be secondary to learning to appreciate who we are and what we have right now. You’re breathing? Awesome! You’re walking? Fantastic! Your children got straight-As in school? Outstanding! Just be happy in who you are. You are one of the most amazing feats of natural engineering that ever evolved (or created, depending on your ethos). Simply living should be breathtaking.
So…hug your spouse. Hug your kids. Watch a tree blow in the wind. Pet a kitten. Call/text your parents/grandparents/friends. Watch the sunrise/sunset with someone you love. Celebrate this moment right here and the fact that you’re in it. Not the person you’d like to be, but the person you are now. Because life is short, and we have to appreciate every moment we have.