Counting the Blessings, Not the Events in My Life

15 May

I had heard that time flies, but no-one had told me that it soars. The past year has gone by with the blink of an eye. For me, it has had little form and even less structure. What have I done during the past twelve months? What has happened in the last 365 days? Looking back, the past year looks like a stretch of time marked by uncertainty, emptiness and waiting. Things have moved at a slower pace than ever before, and there are few events that have been caught on camera or written into a diary. However, when I think about the past year, I realise for the first time that it is not the quantity of memorable events that matters so much as their quality. This year has brought few notable events, but they have had a crucial role in the direction of my life’s path.

1) I graduated from university.

2) I went on a life-changing trip to India.

3) I completed a novel-writing course, which made me realise that, despite my fears, that I am capable.

4) I was offered my first ‘real’ job in a field that I love.

5) I moved to a different country.

6) I moved in with my boyfriend.

However, when I look back at the past year, these events feature only as a backdrop to that which happened on centre stage. In fact, it is my spiritual experiences and changes that played the main role during this period of time.

1) I got rid of 50% of my material possessions. In my new home, I live only with the things that I use regularly.

2) I deleted my social networking accounts. If they’re my real friends, I should be able to call them to find out about their lives. If I feel uncomfortable about picking up the phone to speak to them, I don’t need to be filling my mind with their lives. Seven months without Facebook, and I feel calmer, more confident and I know who my true friends are.

3) I took a risk. When I started job-hunting last autumn, I knew that I had two choices: I could either persevere and look for jobs in the field that I love –writing – or I could take the easier option of going into a better paid, more stable and more ‘prestigious’ career. Parents considered The City or the EU as a good destination for me, but I knew that if I didn’t take the chance to try my luck in writing, I would never again have the opportunity to do so. Three months later, I was offered a job as an online content editor.

4) I made a dream come true. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of working in a cute little bookshop, where I would be able to pass on my love for literature to others. In the autumn, I was hired for a week-end shift at a new independent bookshop in my area. I only worked there for four months, but the experience was unforgettable. I was blessed with kind, knowledgeable and good-humoured colleagues, with friendly clients and with a brilliant stock of books to enjoy.

5) I chose love over fear.  What if I don’t like it? What if it doesn’t work out? What if he changes his mind? What if we get bored? A million doubts filling my mind before moving to a new country and moving in with my boyfriend. Four months after my move, this new life feels like second nature.

6) I was honest with myself. Young women my age are going to parties, filling their days with countless activities, following fashion, spending, seducing, networking…I tried, but never found fulfilment in any of these activities. I finally admitted to myself that I would prefer to spend Friday night watching the sunset from a hill, spend the afternoon riding a bike, spend evenings doing yoga, spend the week-ends doing photography, and spend my money on dance class, art exhibitions or fresh local food from the market. By being honest with myself, I have found a more natural way of life.

This year, I may not have had many events to talk about, but I have had many ideas and feelings to share. I think I am finally starting to learn how to count the blessings, and not the events in my life…

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24 Responses to “Counting the Blessings, Not the Events in My Life”

  1. Debby 15/05/2011 at 23:53 #

    I like your positivity! I am working on that, but my natural personality is pessimistic and cynical so it’s good for me to read your blog. Your thoughts are like ‘an aspirin for my mind’ and you make me feel better. Thanks for sharing like you do.

    • l0ve0utl0ud 16/05/2011 at 06:57 #

      Thank you very much for your wonderful words. It makes me very happy to know that my posts bring positivity into your life. Sharing positive things brings me joy, too. That’s the beauty of love 🙂

  2. Deborah the Closet Monster 16/05/2011 at 02:58 #

    Beautiful post. I’m still struggling with possibly doing as you did in your spiritual experiences bullet, #2. Sp true is your statement: If they’re my real friends, I should be able to call them to find out about their lives.

    • l0ve0utl0ud 16/05/2011 at 07:03 #

      Making the decision to delete my social networking sites was quite a hard thing to do…after all, it had been the centre of my life for over four years! But once it was done, it gave me a great feeling of freedom and independence, and continues to have positive effects on the way I lead my daily life. Perhaps try a month without social networking sites to see how you feel without them.

  3. Seasweetie 16/05/2011 at 13:13 #

    What lovely things you have truly accomplished.

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:31 #

      Thank you very much. They are beautiful things that I am lucky to have/have had in my life.

  4. Toemailer 16/05/2011 at 17:50 #

    Social media is a tough one once you get it going, but you have given me some good reasons to consider dropping it, thanks!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:32 #

      Yes, it is very hard to give up something that has become a whole part of our lives. But the results are unexpectedly amazing! I suggest to everyone to give it a go 🙂

  5. tammyrowlandcoaching 16/05/2011 at 17:55 #

    Perspective is a wonderful ability! One could get stuck with viewing life through only one set of glasses or filters. The ability to look at experiences felt, lessons gained and successful living on your own terms versus things lost or happening to you is a true gift. Way to go!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:35 #

      It is sometimes extremely hard to judge experiences and events for what they truly are, instead of interpreting them in a way that society teaches you. I have seen from the examples above that looking at things from a different perspective can transform the way we react to experiences.

  6. Lenore Diane 17/05/2011 at 02:00 #

    Congrats to you, LOL. I’ve thought about giving FB up for good, but I hold off – because I use it to draw folks to my blog. I did give it up during Lent, and I lost 7lbs. Go figure.
    Well done, LOL. Here’s to another wonderful (fully packed) year. ~ Lenore

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:36 #

      Thank you very much. Well done for giving up FB for lent! I didn’t lose any weight giving it up, but I gained a lot of time! 😉

  7. Flamingo Dancer 17/05/2011 at 10:59 #

    If they’re my real friends, I should be able to call them to find out about their lives.

    That is how I have always felt. If they were important to me, I stayed in touch. If one of us didn’t bother, why would we want to chase each other on social media?

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:38 #

      Yes, that was one of the central reasons which pushed me to give up social media. And I have been able to develop closer relationships with my true friends thanks to this.

  8. Sharon McElwrath 18/05/2011 at 00:08 #

    You sound a lot like myself! Except I underwent most of those changes a couple years ago and just like you, I couldn’t believe how much it blessed my life. I have to say, I still have my networks and quite a few possessions but they haven’t changed a thing. So glad other people can see the great things in life as well, it seems like there are so many out there who only see the negative. I pray you continue to be blessed!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:40 #

      Thank you very much. Possessions and social networks aren’t ‘bad’ in themselves, but they can have negative effects on our lives if we start using them in ways that are damaging to our spiritual or mental (or even physical) health. Congratulations for being able to use them wisely. Blessings to you

  9. Charlotte 18/05/2011 at 13:04 #

    You’ve got the most important things in life and they’re all based on love. What else can you ask for?

    Lovely post.

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:42 #

      Thank you for your wonderful words. Yes, our whole world changes when we start basing our decisions on love. I pray that we can all continue to do this in our lives.

  10. Barbara 19/05/2011 at 16:49 #

    I’ve always wanted to work in a little bookshop or library, too. How wonderful you got the experience!
    It’s good to take stock of things every now and then, and it sounds like you’ve benefited greatly from your decisions and realizations. Well done!
    I’m glad you’re finding a way to be more true to yourself, leading a more quiet and natural lifestyle…

    • l0ve0utl0ud 19/05/2011 at 22:45 #

      Working in a little bookshop was one of the most magical experiences in my life. And I am very happy to be able to give my body and soul a quiet and natural lifestyle, because I know they’ve been waiting for it for a while 🙂

  11. sailingspirit 20/05/2011 at 23:38 #

    Really liked the part about being honest with yourself and (implied) brave enough to do what you really wanted even if it made you unpopular or isolated you from the rest of the crowd. I have seen so little of that, but think it’s to be prized above much else. Brava!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 23/05/2011 at 13:49 #

      Thank you for wonderful words. It is very scary to be honest with yourself, but it feels great once you start living from this principle. I am still learning to live honestly – it is a hard lesson to put into practice, but very rewarding.

  12. myblogject 21/05/2011 at 21:34 #

    It sounds like you did do a lot in the past year! greata achievements going forward and wonderfully written blog.

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