No Rest for the Weary
It’s been six weeks since I relocated to Colorado. Quickly finding myself immersed in a new environment, I can’t help but think of all the opportunities that are at my fingertips. Hiking has never been more accessible. The running community is out in full force at what seems to be all hours, seven days a week. Bikes ride in the streets alongside cars, offering an alternative means of commuting.
Local restaurants and cafés line the streets. Street musicians line the downtown walking mall. It seems as though people are always doing something. No rest for the weary, because the running group is followed up with a happy hour at the local brewery. One thing after another, day after day, week after week.
It never seems to stop – this was my first impression, followed by, will it ever slow down? Perhaps when the snow arrives people will stay indoors; but wait, I am surrounded by mountains and skiing sounds like a pretty exciting adventure. Oh yeah, I’ve always thought that learning to rock climb would be fun, and there are at least ten indoor rock climbing facilities nearby. I suppose I’ll give that a shot also.
As soon as I think there is a lull in my schedule, there is an opportunity to attend a workshop, happy hour, or other social event. And so the hamster wheel continues to spin, around and around.
Life is Designed to Keep us Moving
For the past four weeks I have committed myself to a Wednesday evening running group. It has been five years since I first laced up a pair of running shoes, and this is my first experience running with a group of people. And, you know what? It’s actually a lot of fun. Each week 40-50 people of varying running abilities show up at the local running store. Once the run is finished, everyone sticks around for pizza, beer, and conversation. This defines what it means to embed yourself into (and build into) a community of like-minded people.
It was during one of the first couple of weeks when someone near my age introduced himself. He too moved from the Midwest and has spent the past 8 months living in the same town. As we chatted about all of the different ‘things’ we were surrounded by, he looked at me and said, “If you run out of things to do here, then you’re doing it all wrong.”
We were put on this earth to be active beings. The intent was not for people to sit on the couch and watch television while responding to emails. Rest is great for recovery and in proper doses, but simply ‘doing nothing’ accomplishes nothing. This is not to be confused with the idea that doing something requires physical activity. Rather, it means that doing something requires effort – both physically and mentally – in whatever capacity that means for you.
Life is about seizing the opportunities that are afforded to us, and taking advantage of the moments we have. And those who take advantage of the most opportunities are the ones who receive the most in return. Committing ourselves (in balance) to a number of different events, activities, and social gatherings is pivotal to our development as a person. There isn’t a reason why we should find ourselves making the statement, “I am bored, and there is nothing to do”. Instead, we should be asking, “What’s next?”
We Get to Do Life
It shouldn’t be a chore or task to do fun and exciting things in life. It shouldn’t require a lot of hard work. Chores and tasks are something we have to do in order to get something we want. Fun and exciting opportunities shouldn’t be a chore – they should be an option. Work isn’t a chore, and we don’t have to do it (if we choose). Life isn’t a chore, and we don’t have to do it.
I’ll repeat, we don’t have to do life.
Even better, we get to do life.
We have the option to choose the things we do. We have the ability to fill our life with meaningful activities. I truly believe we have a responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity that knocks on our door because to do anything less would mean that we are ‘doing life wrong’. Doing less than what is available to us would mean that we are not using our abilities in the space we are in to build into the world in which we live.
In the past six weeks, I have climbed a 14,000 foot mountain, biked to neighboring towns, attended concerts, and run with hundreds of new people. In the next six weeks, I’m not sure what is on the horizon, but I can assure you there will be plenty of adventure. Some might argue that the opportunities were not available to me prior, and that’s not true. It might have taken a little bit more effort and going a little bit out of the way, but I could have done it.
Now that I’ve started, I’m not sure when it will stop – and that’s okay. I’m always curious to know ‘what’s next’.
And for you, what’s next? What is that one opportunity that has been on your radar for weeks and months, or even years? We all have one, and it’s not just a random chance to do something. Rather, it’s a life opportunity for you to take advantage of. It’s your opportunity to do life. Stop living life, and start doing life. Once you stop living it, and begin doing, I’m confident you’ll find a return that is much greater than you have ever before imagined.