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Keep on the Right Lane. Slow down and enjoy life.

Keep on the Right Lane. Slow down and enjoy life.

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~Diane Ackerman

Wow! These were my last weeks in the workforce. It is incredible how fast the time passes. Many days and weeks seem to last forever in the last thirty-four year. And don’t we often try to make it go even faster?

Stress is a major part of our jobs. Our jobs often require us to work under tight deadlines and time constraints. We work with clients and associates that need and want things today.

It is difficult to control what we do at work. Add that to our daily responsibilities as parents, spouses, partners, friends, children to aging parents and—not to be forgotten—ourselves. It’s a lot.

Perhaps you are like me. I remember being a young girl and doing this a lot.

  • Want to fast-forward to another day, week, season or season of your life?
  • Wished time away
  • Concentrate on the vacation that was months off
  • couldn’t wait until my kids were older
  • I had my eyes on the next job
  • To get out of difficult situations I was in,
  • You wished to be like someone else in your life

What was the cost to me? It cost me memories and opened doors to new opportunities. I don’t remember many details of when my kids were growing up because I was always thinking ahead. I wasn’t in the moment.

I missed out on opportunities to grow and learn because I was too focused on the next thing rather than learning what could help me.

Because I drove too fast, I missed all of the beauty on this planet.

It cost me my time. I lost something that I cannot get back. It took away the joy of living my life.

It took me sixty-five decades to learn how to make each moment count. And, if I’m honest, it’s something I must work at every day.

“Don’t focus on making each moment perfect, focus on the perfection each moment provides, be it a good one, or not so good one.” ~Jenna Kutcher

Notice that I didn’t say “make every moment happy, productive, or memorable.” Just make it count. It’s all about you. It is possible to live it.

There are many moments that aren’t happy. Sometimes they can be depressing, or even downright sad. However, they can be downright depressing or exhausting.

I missed many wonderful moments in my own life because I was too focused upon making the end happy or perfect, instead of enjoying what was right in front of me.

My son and I met up with a friend a few years back. We talked about our children and the fun we had going to their events when they were young. I began to pound my chest boasting about being at all their events.

To his credit, my son challenged me. He said I was there physically, but I wasn’t really there. He said to his friend that I was always on my phone or distracted. He was right. I was there but I can’t tell you about the goals they scored, the amazing moves they made, or the songs they sang. It felt like a dagger had penetrated my heart. But it was true.

Doug, a dear friend, shared with me an amazing way he’s trying to live his life right now. He said, “Keep your feet on the ground.” I love that. Sometimes we want to get to our destination quickly so we drive in the left lane and pass everything. 

That was how I lived my entire life. It is easier to be present in the moment when I live in the right direction. I am being intentional.

Every morning I begin my day with a routine consisting of journaling, praying, and exercising. My focus is not on any one thing, but rather to be amazed by the beauty of what might be presented to me. I deliberately set aside days when I don’t have a set routine.

When I am present, I experience all kinds of beauty, joys, wonderment, clarity and purposefulness.

You will find a lot of photos from my walks, including pictures of bugs, flowers, butterflies, and trees. My mind is free to be creative, and I’m finding clarity about the things that I want to do in this stage of my life. Because I am there, experiencing another person, my relationships flourish.

Being present allows me to see more of myself. I’ve often stated that I did not feel good enough. I felt I Had To do more to be enough. Now that I know who I really am, I can do more. want Because I am enough, I will do more. I know that I’m good enough, no matter what I do. Because of who I am and not because of what I do.

Many people have asked me what I’ll do when I retire. Retirement is the end. So how will you live until the end? It is more of a transition to the next stage of my journey.

I intend to continue living in the right lane, to enjoy every moment, to create and to experience new moments, to focus on the journey and not the destination. I plan to live as Laurie Santos puts it, “be happy in my life, and with my life.”

“The most dangerous risk of all…is the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” ~Randy Komisar

How do you do it? It isn’t always easy.

Self-awareness is key. Know yourself and trust your instincts. Make an effort to be intentional. Give time to the people and things you care about. Spend some time pondering what you want in your life.

Slow down.

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About Brad Jeffress

Brad Jeffress was a salesperson most of his career. Then, he created a new role within his company as a Dream Coach. He encouraged employees to work towards their dreams, and allowed them to be heard and seen on a personal basis. He is now retired and wants to help others create similar jobs.

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