that full moon though

We've all--perhaps tirelessly--heard the phrase "enjoy the little things" or a similar adaptation. Well, the little things are the best. Seriously. I've loved that saying ever since the first time I laid eyes on it, but I don't think I truly put it into practice or appreciated its true 'essence,' if you will, until now. It only took me 22 years and moving to a new town in a another state where I didn't know a soul.

When you're constantly living and breathing outside of your comfort zone, you begin to notice things you probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise or that you constantly take for granted. The other night I was walking home from a night out on the town and I couldn't help but ogle over the full moon. Sure, I've seen countless full moons, but that night I really couldn't a.) stop talking about it, b.) stop staring at it or c.) stop smiling. I mean I had this huge, toothy grin on my face and I was blabbing about it for the whole walk home--my friend must have wanted to duct tape my mouth shut or just completely knock me out. Oh, and don't even get me started on those stars. It was like I had never seen either of them before. The reason why I'm even writing about this now is that I truly don't remember the last time I took the time to look up at a starry sky and appreciate its beauty. It was breathtaking.

The next day when I woke up, I still had those damn stars and full moon on my mind. This got me to thinking about all of those other things that I may have been missing out on or not fully appreciating, and the list I came up with was truly infinite: The check-in texts from friends and family, people smiling as we pass on a trail or on the streets, the baristas at Peach's asking for--and proceeding to remember--my name, a good book, my brother offering to pick me up from the airport, etc.

Although small, when strung together these seemingly tiny things evolve into one big, continuous streak of happy. An endless supply of warm fuzzies--and who doesn't want that, right? Sometimes I get caught up in looking for those grand gestures that will take my breath away or flip my world upside down, but really they may never happen and that's just not a sustainable way to enjoy life.

The little things are happening all the time, everywhere you turn, you just have to be paying enough attention to see them. The choice is yours.

anywhere but here

I've started to realize what I thought was one of my biggest strengths is actually one of my biggest weaknesses: multitasking. My mom has scolded me on multitasking since I was in junior high, but I've always rolled my eyes and continued doing my homework, while watching TV, while texting and checking my Facebook, for example. Welp, here I am however many years later and I'm finally seeing that Mom was usual. When I'm on a hike or at yoga, I think about what I'm going to eat after I work out (but really, when am I not thinking about what I'm going to eat next?) When I'm at work, I think about what I'll be doing once I get off. When I'm at home watching TV, I'm doing work and sending emails. When I'm out to dinner with friends or family, I'm constantly checking my phone. I stop paying attention for what seems like a second and when I finally snap back into the moment, I realize that I've missed so much more than that. When did I realize this was a problem for me? When I got so caught up in what I'll be doing in a year from now that I forgot to enjoy my new home...ASPEN. How stupid is that? I know, I kind of want to slap me too. This is no bueno, people. No bueno at all. I'm missing out on things that are happening right here, right now, and wasting my time worrying about things that haven't even happened or that might not even happen at all. W T F.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem...

Well, in an effort to not miss out anymore of my life, I'm making a commitment to just be present. It might sound simple, but it's something that doesn't come easy for me. Whether I'm watching TV, at work or on the phone with the fam, I'm going to be all there. I refuse to miss out on anything else. There is a time and a place for everything, and that time and place is not while I'm already doing something else (that sounded really great in my head, but I'm not so sure now that I've written it down...) Feel free to call me out on this if you notice me not staying true to my commitment, in fact, please do.

Well, here goes nothing. Cheers to being present, people, because all we have is now.

choose to see the good stuff

How much happier do you think we'd all be if we just shifted the way we looked at things? At the world?

Yesterday, I stood in line and couldn't help but eavesdrop on a father and daughter standing behind me. They bitched and moaned for probably 20 minutes--if not 30 or 40 (the line was reaaally long.) They complained about the buses not coming early, they complained about what people were--or weren't--wearing, they complained about how many people there were, and the list goes on. Honestly, it's a much shorter list to tell you what they didn't complain about than what they did.

Usually this kind of thing would affect my mood and I myself would start to complain and point out all the things that were wrong in that very moment--but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was going to have fun, god damnit. The sun was shining, I was spending some quality time with two of my favorite people and was about to hop on a bus to one of the most beautiful spots in Aspen. And then there's the simple fact that we're in Aspen--one of the most beautiful places in the world. What the hell is there to be miserable about? Nothing.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing these two people were complaining about matter even the slightest, but they let it. I realized that instead of reporting back to their loved ones about how perfect the weather was, how beautiful the scenery was or how much fun they had with each other, they would probably talk about everything they had been complaining about all morning--and that made me sad.

This got me thinking...

I really do have control over my life. I have choice--I always have choice. I can choose to take on the negative emotions and feelings of people around me--or other things I cannot control--and let it ruin my day, or not. My happiness is just that--mine--and it doesn't have to depend on other peoples'.

Piggybacking off of that learning, the second takeaway I have from this experience is that we really must choose to see the good stuff. You might think it sounds stupid, but that's probably just because you haven't actually given it a try. It's a small, simple shift that could change your entire life. Seriously. We can pick out all the things that drive us off our rockers and be miserable for the rest of our lives, or--even in the presence of those not-so-great things--we can choose happiness and see something good. It's really that simple.