The Simplicity of It All

The twenties are such a fluid time, full of change and ups and downs. I am a bit of a nomad myself. Change, spontaneity and adventure seem to fit me pretty well, but I had an a really humbling epiphany recently. In the hustle and bustle of the twenties, the rat race of career, marriage and the climb to success, it is important not to forget what matters. It is important to value the little things.

So maybe you’re not catching my point yet. Am I saying that career, relationship and finding your place in the world shouldn’t be your focus in your twenties? By all means, no. What I am saying is that it should not be your only priority.

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):

“In the hustle of life, don’t forget to stop, look around and say thank you.”

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer with a group of young adults at a senior citizen’s living facility. I met the sweetest lady named Jean. She was dressed in a red polka dotted blouse, red cardigan and navy pants, with a beautiful smile to top it off. Although Jean had a hard time with her short term memory and kept asking the same questions, she also couldn’t stop telling me how much she appreciated seeing our group’s smiling faces.

Jean explained that when you live in a senior’s living facility, you don’t get outside as much as you do when you’re young. You miss the sway of trees, the brilliance of the sun and the scent of flowers. She also told me she really appreciates interactions with people now more than ever. Her living facility has three meals per day: Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Lunch at 11:30 a.m. and dinner at 4:00 p.m. She is promptly downstairs for every meal. I can only imagine in her best outfit and with her big smile.

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Jean, my best friend and I at lunch

Jean taught me an important lesson: to value the little things. In your twenties, it’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the world around you and not stop to really appreciate all you have. So you may not have the perfect job you’d imagined back in college. Be thankful that you have a job. So you’re single yet again for another Valentine’s Day. I’m sure you have plenty of family and friends who love and appreciate you.

So what, you’re life isn’t perfect. Welcome to the club. You still have a lot more life to live. Jean reminded me the value of a grateful heart and the joy in appreciating the littlest things. I know everywhere you look, people are encouraging you to speed up and get ahead, but maybe just take a moment, stop, look around and breathe it all in and appreciate what this season of your life has to offer. You should literally take time out of your day to smell the roses around you and gaze at the stars. An appreciative heart is always a full heart.

– Stephkt

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