Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget that we don’t always have to be busy; we don’t always need to be checking our email or rushing to the next thing. We need to remind ourselves that it’s okay — and absolutely necessary — to slow it all down. To take a break and enjoy nature. To turn off the TV and simply be together. To enjoy a game of cards. To ask our kids what they’re wondering about. To call our parents. To watch the sunrise. We must never forget to enjoy the little things because they are never as little as we think.
~ Nikki Banas
I recently watched Nathaniel Drew’s video, aptly titled, How To Remember Your Life. It would be a major understatement to say that it was an eye-opener for me. It forced me to sit with my not-so-pretty thoughts and really examine my own life. Will I remember this moment 10 years or 30 years from now if I’m still alive?
I realized that I was waiting for the big moments to document them instead of reveling in the beauty of the small, ordinary everyday moments. My morning cup of coffee, my worn-out book that I'm reading for the 10th time now, my partner telling me how his day was, or his grandiose ideas for the future. I was missing out on documenting all these small little things because they didn't seem that important, because I couldn't post them for the world to see. I was missing out on the law of compound interest when it came to the little moments.
A few months ago I was reading the tragic story of Oscar Wilde and one thing about him stuck with me. He was a big spokesman of aestheticism. Aestheticism was an art movement of the late 19th century that championed “art for art’s sake”. Art was to be done just for the beauty of it, not regarding whether it serves a purpose or not. Aestheticism still exists today, but not as widely popular.
But if you think about it, this is a pretty good way to live life. Create art for the sake of creating art, learn for the sake of learning, document your life for the sake of documenting it. There is no rule book for life. Do things because you want to do them and give each thing your full attention. There is satisfaction in that. Life is pretty short, and before you know it, your loved ones will be gone or you will be gone. You would want to remember them as they lived, and you would want to be remembered in equal measure. Document everything.
But the most beautiful things in life are not just things. They’re people, and places, memories, and pictures. They’re feelings and moments and smiles and laughter.