That Sunday Feeling
Not every time, but some Sundays I get overwhelmed by this feeling – It’s a Sunday Feeling.
I’m not even certain what the feeling is. It almost feels like I’ve stepped out for the day – like I’ve switched on autopilot and left.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does, however, allow me to see with clarity where I am and where I want to be. And this can sometimes cause distress, but it also facilitates gratitude.
There are always parts of my life which I’d like to be different. Right now, I’d like to be abroad, or maybe, working somewhere else, or doing different things. There are parts of my life that need improvement and this becomes clearer – for whatever reason – on Sunday afternoons.
But there are also many parts of my life for which I am grateful, and Sunday afternoons accentuate gratitude. Simple things are the most important. The beach being within driving distance, as well most of my family members – both those assigned and those chosen. Or even the fact that I can take an hour to sit outside in the sun and do nothing of anything without feeling under pressure.
There are a thousand things to be grateful for. The things which appear to need improvement are less in number but they feel louder.
And I suppose it is the loudness of these would-be improvements which causes certain distress. These thoughts can become so loud on ordinary days that you can’t even hear the chorus of things to be grateful for. They fall to the wayside in wake of these loud – and often times inaccurate – problems we have made.
See, I could be satisfied with not being abroad, for example, if I allowed myself to be grateful for where I already am. If I didn’t give into the passion, or the impulse to leave, then maybe I could find reasons to really be happy here. Nearly every anxiety, or stress, or pressure is one we have made up for ourselves.
We generate reasons to be unhappy where we are. We always want for more. Habitually, we look beyond our current reach for fulfilment. I think that’s where the real issue lies. We’re a species that finds it difficult to live in the now. We always have to look ahead for better days, even when they day we find ourselves in now is better than any day we’ve ever had before.
Lately I find myself wondering about why my ambitions are so important to me. After all, most of the pain I feel comes from not having these ambitions fulfilled immediately.
My ambition to travel causes pain every single moment I am not travelling.
My ambition to be a successful writer causes pain every moment I am not a successful writer. (Whatever ‘successful’ means – I do not even really know.)
So I think the real solution to finding genuine gratitude is to rid oneself of ambition. Not in the sense that you shouldn’t have any goals – you should – but these goals, and their attainment shouldn’t define our outcomes. These goals should be something to strive for, but our happiness, and our satisfaction shouldn’t depend on our achievement of these goals. Otherwise happiness will be so fleeting, that as soon as you reach your goal, it will already begin to fade, and you’ll to find some other goal to pin your happiness to.
I’ve always posted these on Sundays because Sundays are the days when I am able to see my life for what it is and evaluate it.
For the longest time, I evaluated my life based on whether or not I was achieving my ambitions. And this will make your life seem like a failure if you aren’t at the end goal – and you almost never are at the end goal.
Instead, if we evaluate our lives on Sundays – or whatever day you like – based on the things we already have – like the beach nearby, or the family who cares, or the dog who is always happy to see you – we will more often feel grateful than distressed.
You can’t be grateful for ambitions you have not yet achieved. So why waste time allowing them to stress you out? You’ll get to them eventually.
But you can always find something to be grateful, no matter how small it could be. Even if it’s something as simple as a glass of water, you’ll be damned grateful to have it when you wake up gasping with the thirst.
I think the trick is to always be is a state of gasping for the things you already have. If the blessing in your life are things you long for, you will never be without a source of happiness. Make the Sunday Feeling work for you.
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