On November 1, I had to get out of the office. It’s a crazy busy season and I found myself bogged down by deadlines, irritated with the people around me and feeling like I was stuck in a snow globe of only emails and to do lists. Yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. How do I so quickly lose perspective of what life is about?
So I grabbed my journal and wallet and got outside. I walked across the street to grab a sub and be in sunshine to remember the world is bigger than me. As I sat and prayed and munched on potato chips, I asked myself, “What do I want November to be like? How do I want it to be different?”
Here’s what I came up with:
- To live in love. To feel love for others, to feel love for being alive and in the world.
- To find a rhythm. I’ve felt out of sync and like I’m running, but also wasting my life away.
So then, I thought, how do I do that? And how do I do it in a simple way that won’t feel overwhelming and then I’ll quit and go back to my snow globe of achieving.
I realized that to live in love, I need to change my focus.
- My day isn’t about getting things done.
- My day shouldn’t be aimless, stumbling into it hoping it goes well.
- My day shouldn’t be all about me.
The words that came to mind was the title of Bob Goff’s latest book, Everybody Always. It comes from the idea that we’re called to love everybody (not just our friends or people who aren’t annoying, but EVERYBODY) and we’re called to love them always (not just when they agree with us or aren’t hurting us).
What would happen if I went through my day thinking that my one mission for the day is to love everybody always?
It would change how I respond to the guy who cuts me off during rush hour. Instead, calling him a swear word because he’s in my way, I’d smile and think I can love him well by not responding in anger and letting him get where he needs to go.
It would change how I interact with my co-workers. Rather than bringing up their mistakes to make myself feel better or getting angry when they miss deadlines, I would instead see myself as there to serve and help pull their weight, remembering we’re a team and we’re all human and that someday they’ll pull my slack.
It would change how I engage with people around me. Rather than sitting on my phone while waiting in line at Caribou, I look up and smile and maybe have a short conversation with the people around me- broadening my world a little bit.
It would change how I love my friends and family. Instead of focusing on myself, I would intentionally think of ways I could love and serve them well, whether it’s through intentionally praying for them, sending an encouraging note or offering to serve them in someway.
This simple mental shift felt doable yet impactful. I’d been feeling that my world was too small and about me. I’d been exposed to some people in the past few weeks who are loving people well and sometimes in radical way. It made me realize my world was feeling small and insignificant because I was living it just for me. But to do some big leap like serving strangers or selling all my stuff felt terrifying and unrealistic. But changing my mindset to loving everybody always felt significant and meaningful without feeling too scary.
So this month I’m focusing on loving everybody always. Instead of trying to make it this big thing (like I often do), I’m simply setting aside 30 minutes each day to check-in with God on how I’m doing on this and what it looks like. I think this little rhythm will help shift things away from me, yet give some intention to this life I’m called to live not for myself.
Each month I try to make a practice of gratitude by recording the little glimpses of joy infused in my life. Here are my glimpses from October:
- Torchy’s Tacos and their bacon bourbon sauce- A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
- Attending The Happy Hour Live with Jamie Ivey! Bucket list item CHECKED OFF 🙂
- A fun girls weekend doing all my favorite things in an amazing city.
- Late night adventures with Aaron.
- My favorite coffee being brewed at work.
- My cold not hitting me as hard as expected.
- A beautiful fall walk with Aaron.
- Reconciled relationships.
- Getting to know new friends.
- Playing cards with family.
- Aaron dropping half the popcorn in the aisle of the movie theater.
- Aaron’s funny shriek while driving making me laugh and laugh.
- A fun weekend with an old friend
- Courage to share my story.
- The window cleaner appearing in the window during a team meeting.
- Getting back in the rhythm of hospitality.