The next morning you wake up could be your last one on earth.
I know it’s not a terribly exciting thing to contemplate, but unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any less true. You are going to cease to exist one day, and there is definitely a mathematical probability that this could be the day.
The good news in all of this is that there is a much better chance that this is not going to be your last day on the planet. So let us not just sit here taking up space. Let’s get real clear on why it’s so incredible to be alive today.
Coffee in the morning.
Not everybody drinks coffee in the morning, but enough of us do that I know this is going to resonate with a lot of people. When I open my eyes and smell coffee brewing in the morning, I get filled up with excitement for the day ahead and hope for wonderful surprises. Even if you’re unemployed and you’re just going to lay in bed all day watching 40-year-old episodes of “Rhoda” on YouTube, coffee is still awesome.
Last night I was engaged in drudgery. I was driving an 18-wheeler from one end of the Hudson Valley into Westchester. Nothing really special about that except that it was late at night, the roads were relatively deserted, and The Drifters “Under The Boardwalk” came on the radio. As I concentrated on the island-drenched lead guitar and the quirky percussion, I was so thankful for what I was experiencing. The gift of music changed my state and took me to another place entirely. Never forget that you can experience this any ol’ time you want.
Flirty smiles from strangers.
Okay, this may be a little more esoteric, and depending on your vibe and your karma, this may be more rare than you would hope. But I’m fairly certain almost everyone experiences the thrill of a flirty smile…at least once in a while. (Note: if not, this’d be a good time to get honest about how often you’re getting out of the house. Chances are, you will not be at the receiving end of too many flirty smiles in your living room).
Okay, we would not be honest if we did not notice how truly horrible this modern invention is, but take a second to focus on the aspects of it that are utterly miraculous. I have a 17-year-old daughter who lives about 200 miles away from me who is undergoing the disconcerting transformation from cute kid to wanna-be temptress—and frankly, it’s driving me up a wall.
Twenty years ago, I would’ve missed the whole thing. Now I get to watch it unfold before my very eyes. Seriously though, there has never been a time when we’ve been able to keep such close tabs on that weird kid from science class who, in the past, we would never have even thought about before. It’s a great time to be alive!
Am I making you angry yet? Look, human beings were made to be productive. It’s the reason we get that rush of great energy as we walk to the parking lot at the end of a long day. The emotions we feel after we’ve earned a little dough to stay afloat—and helped keep the wheels of industry moving—are unavoidable. So I never take it for granted. As I said at the beginning, there’s going to be a day when it all comes to a close. So why not allow yourself to be happy about this awesome part of your life today?
This is a different experience for single people and for those in long-term monogamous situations, but there are attributes to both so, to me, it goes on the list of reasons to be psyched to be alive. I have a date to go out for Korean food this weekend. I don’t have a clue as to how it’s going to go, or where I am going to be at the end of it, and that is exciting.
Now, even if you are going to eat Bavarian food with the person you’ve watched get dressed every morning for the last 20 years, there is still something great about sitting across the table from someone and waiting for a nice person to lay a plate of food in front of you. Think about it!
Laying your tired body down after a long day.
As much as this might be seen as a corollary to number five, it is actually a different thing and its own reason why life is a blast. I don’t know of too many other things that feel quite as good as laying down on a soft bed with clean sheets after a day of true exertion. It doesn’t matter if you have a sedentary occupation or not, there are many structures known as gyms where you can pedal away until you are exhausted. So there are really no excuses why you can’t get yourself to a place where you are entirely knackered before bed. Give it a shot a few times a week. It is a dopamine producer!
Okay, while it is true that not everyone lives in New York, I have done the research and this is the sort of thing that can be experienced everywhere in the States. There are some frozen French bread pizzas you can pop in the oven and enjoy the heck out of. Even if you are a vegan, it’s entirely possible to find halfway decent pizza that makes you happy to be alive. Google “vegan pizza” and have at it. There are really no excuses.
The first day of spring.
Allow me to clarify: I am not talking about noon on March 20th. I am talking about that magical morning you walk out to your car and you hear three different birds fussing with each other and out of the corner of your eye, you see green mini buds shooting out of the soil. Then, you immediately notice you overdressed a little and a bunny goes hopping past you. Is there any moment on earth that feels quite like that? I should say not.
Podcasts, books, and articles.
Most of us are no longer attending school or university but we are living in a time now where we have so much access to brilliantly produced information. Anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Pema Chödrön, Jen Sincero, or Maya Angelou will undoubtedly make you feel wonderful—and don’t even get me started on audio books.
I have such a love affair with audio books. Podcasts like “This American Life,” “Radiolab,” and “Reveal” are also super cool. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the joy of a periodical like Elephant Journal. We have every reason to celebrate life when we know that there will always be awesome articles coming out every single day.
The bottom line is this: we all get a little down at times. It wasn’t even a week ago where I was going through some stuff that I just never thought I’d be able to navigate through successfully. Hope always prevails. There are so many great reasons to be happy about existing, that there is no way this little list is complete. No matter.
Just keep these 10 things in the forefront and see if you can think of a few I have missed. No one can guarantee you a tomorrow—but you surely have a “right now.”
Author: Billy Manas
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton