Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving-TurkeyOn this Thanksgiving, remember that there is nothing more important than family. The small knickknacks and trinkets we give to each other are nothing compared to the time we give each other. Embrace your loved ones, and let them know how special they are to you.

Don’t live your life by comparison.

On-TargetWhen you are someone who is living an alternative lifestyle (whether it is one of minimalism or not), there are many times during your life when you will look at yourself in the mirror and ask “Am I a fool?” I don’t care how steadfast you are in your beliefs; being that your life is not the established norm, you will have pressure that brings on doubt. This is just part of being human, and it is extremely healthy. Doubt is part of growth. It would in fact be strange if you never had any doubt. Only a fool is sure of anything. A wise person will keep on re-evaluating and examining.

When you are having these moments of “self-examination” it is important not to look to other people’s lives as a basis to compare your life against. When you do that you acquiesce to someone else’s life as being the ideal life for you, and that is just ridiculous. The ideal life is wildly different for one person than another person. Instead, just decide internally what you need or desire in your life, and pursue the resources needed to acquire what is needed/desired. Don’t get me wrong. I am a firm believer in looking to others for inspiration, and ideas. But to put any one persons life in the category of “the way it’s supposed to be” is absurd.

Many of life’s seemingly basic “staples” are not necessarily for everyone. Here is a list of some these lifestyle staples that I am talking about:

  • Marriage
  • Children
  • House
  • Monogamy
  • College education
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Television
  • Internet (this one was real difficult for me to type)

Living the moment vs capturing the moment‏

PunctuationI have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world. People who live in the moment, and people who capture the moment. And unfortunately, one cannot be both; or one cannot be doing both at the same time. let me explain.

Anytime I am doing something I enjoy I like to devote 100% of my attention to it. Whether it is getting a deep tissue message, riding my bicycle, playing with my daughter, or sunning on the beach. I relish in feeling every sensation. I let all my senses take everything in and let my mind go blank to accept it. I like to live every moment. When I am in this euphoric state, I mostly can’t even think about taking a photo to capture the event. As a result I unfortunately do not have much of a photo album (memory archive). The few times I do think of capturing the moment with a photo (and act on it) I am bothered to do so. Why, because in doing so it does have a small cost. It costs a small piece of that joy. One can not be 100% in the moment, and still capture the moment. In my opinion, it drops about 50% when one stops to take a picture. Those of you who are “live in the moment” people know what I am talking about. For those of you who disagree, you must  be “capture the moment” people.

Now take my wife (please……old joke). Her mind is always a few steps ahead. Always planning, always scheming, always making sure we are prepared for every situation.

I recall some time ago treating her to a spa treatment. A full 4 hour package complete with Swedish massage, hot stone message, manicure, pedicure, scalp massage, and Champagne. After the day of pampering had concluded I picked her up from the Spa. In the car I asked her how it went. She told me briefly about what they did, and how wonderful it felt. After that she continued to go on for thirty minutes about all the things she considered and planned while she was getting the treatment. Everything from planning dinner for the week, to considering the destination for our next vacation. She thought about all of this while she was being pampered, and absolutely none of these things were of any urgent need to plan. I could not help but think, “wow, that was a waste.” With this, as with any experience in life, in order to enjoy it, you have to be there mentally. She didn’t get the full experience because she was not present mentally.

Don’t get me wrong, in many ways having this trait is a very positive thing. she is always on top of getting everything done. She always makes sure every moment is captured and documented. Without people like this, there would be no physical memory archive.

But it is a shame though. A shame that these people are depriving themselves of the fruits life has to offer.

I bring this up because of a recent observation I had. Recently a couple I am acquainted with went on a vacation to Cancun Mexico. Having been there myself I was immediately thrilled for them, so of course I wished them well. I was however mildly disgusted when I noticed that from the moment they landed to the hour they left, they were posting FB status updates every couple of hours or so.

OMG, lose the phone! Are people so hopelessly tethered to their social media that they can’t put the phone aside and enjoy their vacation unfettered. It’s as if the mentality is that the events of the vacation didn’t actually happen unless they are tagged and documented somewhere for all their friends to see. As if they need to prove they are having a good time, at the expense of actually having a good time. It was at this point that I came to the conclusion that there are “live the moment” people, and “capture the moment” people.