The Magic Of Not Trying So Hard
I've been thinking lately about life and what really makes "a good time" good and it always comes back to having friends, someone you are partnered with (if they add happiness to your life), simple times like sloshing through mud puddles giggling with your children or making homemade bread, and letting a lot of laughter into your life - sincere, genuine, from the heart. I also think a home that I feel proud of qualifies here because I can't really enjoy life without feeling at home in my environment.
I never realized how overly sensitive I am to aesthetics (in the home) until I had my son and suddenly home really started to feel like a real place beyond just pretty stuff and the occasional cocktail party or movie night. I deeply cherish the times that I have to spend with him watching as he examines everything in each room with curiosity that is often rarely present with most adults. I love seeing how our home is becoming part of his childhood memories and I want his good times in life to be not only outside of the home, but inside with us, too. I want natural moments and funny times to be more important than keeping up appearances or having the best new toy or gadget. I want his childhood to feel sincere and unscripted so he looks back and remembers the great times with us and not a Pinterest -friendly lifestyle where he couldn't touch anything outside of his bedroom because mommy had to Instagram it first for her followers.
We are all so focused on the next big vacation, the new home, the new car, making more money, the job promotion, having a flatter stomach, doing anything to "save" our relationship (as we drown), and trying hard to please others before pleasing self. Of course, I can add more to the list, but those are just some of the things that pop to mind. And I wonder why we always strive for these things when, at our core, simpler times make us happy? And why are we always looking to the next fix and not enjoying what we have today? Why can't we enjoy the person in front of us instead of making plans with someone else on Whatsapp during dinner? Why can't we just live in the moment more and bask in the beautiful light that soul connections and genuine conversations can bring without constantly seeking the next fix?
Have you ever fallen for someone? If so, I hope it went in your favor. If not, you know how it goes - you feel this deep, gut-turning connection that runs very deep, you aren't even sure how you ever lived without them until that moment. You then proceeded to do all you could to win their heart, and later it goes sour because you tried too hard and scared them away. You weren't natural, you came across as aggressive, you lacked patience. You lost them.
Have you ever fallen for someone you couldn't have (they are married, for instance)? This is even more brutal because you don't try at all and you effortlessly win their heart and you can't do anything to scare them away. You both know there is something real that could result in such beauty and joy, but you also can never be with them. They came to you too late, as the expression goes. These loves are the much-written about affairs in steamy chick lit novels, the forbidden fruit.
And yet, isn't it so remarkable that when we are not looking, when we are our most natural, and not fighting to win that love walks in? I wonder why we are at our best and attract the most beautiful people when we are unrehearsed and natural? I remember when I was single, I had such a hard time finding a nice man to date. Was it all of the makeup, trying to look "hot", trying to be the most intelligent in the room? Was it simply all of the trying that scares love away?
My grandmother always told me when I least expect it, "it" would happen. This has been true for so much of my life, especially when it came to getting pregnant. We didn't even try, I just let go of constantly thinking about it and decided to go live my life and it was then that I suddenly skipped a period and realized that the magic of not trying so hard is a very real kind of magic.
I'm not saying to be selfless, to live a life without intention, nor to focus only on the moment without a plan in sight. I'm not saying to live passively. What I am saying is to give everything a moment to sit and to think about it before diving right in or making plans for the next moment. Some berries are best eaten fresh-picked whereas others are ones that have sat out for a few days in the summer sun. The happiest person is one who can look at a situation or moment and quickly ascertain whether to enjoy now or save for later.
I hope that as I continue to age and evolve as a person, as a woman, and as a mother that I can more quickly make better calls of judgement and learn what to savor and what to store, what to cherish for today and what to work towards for tomorrow and most importantly, how to balance my need for stable, intentional living with my overwhelming desire for spontaneity, freedom, travel and experiencing all of the joie de vivre that I can in life. I am so full of fire and courage, curiosity and passion that often the smoke I cause from running so fast blurs out everything else around me and I lose track of being in the here and now. And enjoying it.
These are things that I often think about when the house goes quiet late at night and I sip a glass of wine and gaze onto the street below from my balcony. I think about love, life, magical moments and simplicity. I think about how being less intentional may be a good goal to have. I also think about how I have done so much within my own life and business that came because I wasn't out aggressively hunting and hustling for it. And I wonder why we try so hard to have more when all we really need is less.
Do you think about these things too?
Photo: Julia Caesar