Grumpy old man

Are You Excited to Be Alive or Just Happy That You’re Not Dead?

It’s early Saturday evening after a long week at work. You spent the day mowing the grass, paying some bills, and watching the ballgame with a short nap mixed in. Tonight is supposed to be date night. You made no formal plans, but the idea is dinner, a few drinks, and quality time together.

You ask where they would like to go this evening, and the response is, “I don’t care. You pick.”

“How about Luigi’s?” you say.

“I’m not feeling Italian tonight,” they reply.

“Okay, let’s try that new Thai place!” you excitedly offer.

“Not really in the mood for Asian.” they bellow.

The saga continues as you suggest every variety of food known to man. In return, you receive a cacophony of responses ranging from “Meh” to “Nope!” One comeback came with the finger down the throat puking gesture. You took that one as a “maybe.”

Three taps on your phone, and 47 minutes later, the pizza delivery guy is on your doorstep with “The Usual.” As your pie hits the coffee table and you twist the cap off of a $9 bottle of red, the person you love more than anything in the world but also currently want to choke exclaims, “What do you want to watch?” You say, “I don’t care,” and you both jump back on the merry-go-round for another spin.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Could this be how you live your life?

Running for your life

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. That might be the worst analogy in the history of analogies. Have you ever seen a person enjoying themself while running a marathon? Doubt it! Every runner you see struggles for breath while suffering from cramps and enduring nausea with a constantly pained look on their face. A sense of hope arises only at the sight of the finish line as they raise their arms in victory. Is that how life is supposed to be?

We hear and offer the same excuses all the time; “I’m too busy,” “I need to do this first,” or “I don’t have time for that,” It seems that the only things we consistently say “Yes” to are the things that we don’t want to be doing.

In the spirit of the marathon analogy, we do a lot of running and very little living. Why?

You had me at “Hell, No!”

Have you noticed that when you ask people what they want, the list usually starts and ends with what they don’t want? We love to talk about the things we hate. Just like the dinner scenario, we’re afraid to say what we want but have no problem shooting down undesirable options.

Negativity surrounds us, and it slowly erodes our sense of optimism. The media thrives on our collective negativity. Politicians are famous for exploiting pessimism. It’s the core of every election. Corporations feed us two things; luxury or bargains. If you can’t afford the first, a sale should satisfy your needs.

Why do we settle for the middle ground so often and accept less than what we truly want? Saying “No” to most things is an excellent strategy in life, but it only works if you sometimes say “Hell, Yes.”

A new perspective

Here’s where we tell you to live like there’s no tomorrow. How about this one, “What would you do if you had a month to live?” No, we’re not writing an entire article to promote some cliche. But, we do think there’s room for improvement.

People who survive a near-death experience or life-threatening medical condition often point to a change in perspective. While the trauma is fresh in their minds, they see the world in a whole new light. Oh, the changes they plan on making. They’re going to work less, spend time with family, see the Grand Canyon. You know, all the hits.

So what happens to all these beautiful new perspectives? Most slowly fade as real-life intervenes and the rat race continues. Some people maintain their new outlook for a while longer but inevitably regress. Living as if you’re dying is simply not sustainable.

Find your “Yes!”

Instead of some life-changing new perspective or resolution, let’s think micro over macro. Find somewhere in your life to say “Yes!” When asked what you want, give a definitive answer. Even if you’re not sure, be decisive.

Small changes in your everyday decision-making are exponential to your quality of life. When you make decisions, you become powerful. If you allow others to decide for you, you give them all the power. Sure, you may object, but that’s the passive-aggressive mindset of the discontent.

Making decisions is choosing a direction for your life, no matter how small or inconsequential. If you wish for excitement in your life, find your “Yes.”

What do YOU want to do? Where do YOU want to go? How do YOU want to live?

The choice is yours if you want it.


Take care, even down there.

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