I was enjoying a nice evening and dinner out with family and friends at one of my favorite restaurants, which offers a beautiful view of the city skyline and the Ohio River. Shortly after we finished our appetizers, I glanced out the window to take in the view. I saw the setting sun’s rays bouncing off the water and creating a brilliant reflection. In the background, I could hear the people in my group and those at tables near us chatting about things—things that might mean everything to them, but little to someone else.
As I continued to watch the water and sun flirting with one another, I could feel the sun’s warmth, its simplicity, its beauty, its calm. I wanted those for myself, but how could I possibly capture and keep them . . . I’m just so busy.
“Just quit—quit being busy.” The thought plowed through my mind like a bulldozer.
Then I thought, “What do I quit? What would I do?”
I glanced back at my friends and family and then scanned the others near us who were enjoying their evening out. Though I didn’t know them, I knew most couldn’t be much different than me. Their life plates were certainly just as overflowing as my own. But as I looked at their faces, smiles, and laughter, I saw that tonight they had chosen to put that aside and were simply enjoying the moment.
I looked back at the water, the sun’s glare from it beginning to dim. It inspired me to ask: How long would I really be happy if I quit everything?
Just as the image out the window had prompted this train of thought in the first place, it inspired an answer. I wouldn’t be happy quitting anything.
I turned my attention back to those at my table. I watched, I listened, and I realized that what I loved most about living was having the choice to see and feel the warmth, the simplicity, the beauty, and the calmness in every day, regardless of how much was sitting on my plate.
It wasn’t my job, my schedule, or even my aspirations that were off—it was my thinking. How quickly I had forgotten that every day above the tile is a great day.
So if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, look around and remember, this world would not be the same without you in it.
And most of the time, being overwhelmed with tasks as opposed to having very little to do is better for us, for our bodies and our minds.
Sure, we can all stand to streamline our lives and cut out the distractions that are keeping us from achieving our dreams. But it’s the important things—the things we sometimes feel like quitting the most, those that take the most work and challenge us to be our best—that make this life worth living.
Today and every day, choose to live your value, one choice at a time.