As I scrolled through my IG feed this morning, I saw a nice picture of an old school mate on a boat; looked like one of those Dubai boat cruise pictures. The first line of her caption read “#TBT birthday week, had a boat cruise…’’ and I thought to myself; she must be living her best life, how nice!!! She listed the things she did during her birthday week and mentioned how she didn’t think she had an exciting birthday week until she decided to switch the narrative by shifting her focus to all the fun things she did that week (which she didn’t do at the time) and sure enough, she realized that she indeed had an exciting birthday week. All it took was for her to shuffle the narrative!
This is easily relatable for many of us; we are so preoccupied with our needs, wants and plans that we forget to pay attention to the wonderful things happening in our lives on a daily basis. We take so many things for granted and miss the opportunities to enjoy the seemingly mundane activities because they don’t fit into the box of what we consider remarkable. This attitude is what causes us to go through life without actually living, we hang on to the idea of an exciting life we have painted in our minds while forgetting to enjoy all other things happening outside this picture.
It’s important to enjoy the very many things that are not captured in the picture we have carefully painted, as there is a limit to what can be displayed by a single picture and there are so many things that make up a picture but are not actually captured in the picture. Enjoying those seemingly mundane activities in our daily lives before or while our pictures are brought to life is the key to actually living and creating memorable moments and that can only be achieved by being intentional about living. We need to shift our focus, don’t dwell on the things you don’t have or the things that are not going according to plan, instead take time to count your many blessings and be grateful for the things that you do have. I have learnt that, when people aren’t excited about their lives because it doesn’t match their picture, they remain unexcited about their lives even when the picture comes alive. Once one goal is achieved, we quickly move on by setting another goal, creating a vicious cycle of unhappiness. It’s just like money, you think once you start earning 7 figures, your life will be just perfect, once you start earning 7 figures, you then begin thinking of how 9 figures will just transform your life. This unfortunately is the reality for many of us, at least it was for me until I realized that my attitude and focus colour my reality.
I have decided to be intentional about living by shuffling my narrative. From the little things to the big things; rather than look in the mirror and fuss over the stubborn acne on my forehead, I would look into the mirror and be in awe of this melanin chocolatey goodness God blessed me with. Rather than rant about the things my husband didn’t do right, I choose to rave about the very many things he does right. Rather than complain about the job I have, I will celebrate the fact that I have a job and enjoy it, until I get a better one. I already feel a weight lifted off my shoulders by making this decision to shuffle my narrative, you should try it to.