As Sara and I travel the country, driving from one National Park or National Forest to another, engaging in conversation with fellow travelers and hiking/biking through beautiful countryside, we find ourselves in what seems like a constant state of awe and appreciation.
At least once a day we marvel over the sheer size of a mountain face, pause to admire the beauty in a sunrise or sunset, sit in absolute wonder as we watch wild animals simply exist in their natural habitat or delight in conversation with strangers, listening to the stories they tell.
In situations like these we try to savor and appreciate the moment. Appreciate the beauty. Appreciate the honesty, innocence and purity. Appreciate the steps that took place for this very moment to transpire.
Something neat Sara and I’ve discussed on this trip is how we can find something to appreciate about each situation we face in life, and not just the "happy" situations, but challenging situations too.
We all face challenges at work or in our personal lives, we face challenges with family and friends, when our pets are in pain, when we don’t get the raise or promotion we’d hoped for, when our bodies ache and we can’t perform the way we once could.
Challenges come in many forms, and while oftentimes frustrating, there’s beauty in every challenge.
There’s beauty in the fact that we have jobs, get to drive our vehicles to work and can contribute to the success of an organization. There’s beauty in the fact that family members, friends, colleagues and even pets rely on us in some fashion. There’s beauty in youth and in old age. There’s beauty everywhere, in everyday life that can be appreciated.
For me and Sara, at this time, it’s easy to appreciate beauty as we travel the world, seeing the sights we’re currently seeing… But when we think about our “normal lives,” our 9-to-5 lives, there’s much to be appreciated that usually goes unnoticed, or under-noticed.
Family, friends, colleagues and the differences and similarities we have or share with people. The food we eat, exercise, nature, laughter, love, coffee, art, our hobbies, music and movies.
There's a lot in this world to appreciate. Take a minute. Look around. Notice the beauty in what surrounds you.
We’ve found that appreciating things, big and small, helps us overcome challenges we face in life. It grounds us. It reminds us that even when facing difficult situations, even when we're blinded by sadness or pain, there's beauty all around.
Appreciation is an art, a talent. One we can actively practice if we decide to incorporate it into our lives. It's a fun talent to practice too. Who knows what we'll really see if we look.