Realize and appreciate where you are today

Tears filled my eyes, and I could hardly see. It felt like I had just done 100 sit-ups. I leaned over my knees and tried to calm myself down as Dan scaled the walls and explained flipflopopolis (what he says is a fear of flip-flops).

I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I have in the past two weeks. I feel like I have been doing some mad ab workouts.

For those of you who don’t know, Dan is mine and Emily’s housemate for the summer. He works mostly with and is in charge of the kids. He makes our schedule, and we make him dinner.

As I sat in the living room crying because I was laughing so much, I paused for a brief moment and just looked around. I am with some of the best and most genuine people I have ever met. I am with friends who are intelligent, thoughtful and challenge me. I’m surrounded by people who are full of life and want to give it to others, too.

It’s not always easy to appreciate where you’re at in life. It’s easy to focus on the shortcomings, the failures and the grass that looks so much greener on the other side.

But every once in a while, it’s nice to just look around and appreciate where you are.

I was sitting in a restaurant a few days ago in Covent Garden. A smooth, soft song played in the background. The sky was a brilliant grey, and I had another moment.

I’ve dreamed of coming to London since I was a little girl and watched 101 Dalmatians. I’ve stayed up late in my bedroom browsing through pictures of Big Ben and the iconic red phone booths for the past few months.

And there I sat in an Italian restaurant in one of the most beautiful parts of London watching black taxi cabs whizz by.

I just stopped and took it all in.

I don’t feel like the past few months could be categorized as full of good moments. The days have felt empty and bland. Everyone feels that way sometimes, though. It’s life.

But life is also colorful and strikingly beautiful. It’s meant to be lived, not coasted through.

We’re not always where we want to be. Often I’m focused on the future – so much so that I ignore the moment I’m in.

Don’t let the good moments pass you by.

Look around at the people in your life. Appreciate them. Love them. Breathe in the fresh air of a new day. Laugh until it hurts. Cry with people. Be honest. Invest in people. Ask how they’re doing and really listen.

The good moments don’t just happen. You have to make them and more importantly you have to realize when they’re here.

I’ve had several of those moments. I’ve walked around the London Zoo with five girls hanging on my arms. I’ve had conversations about Christian doctrine and theology. I’ve stood within 30 feet of One Direction and danced my life away. I’ve cycled through Hyde Park.

I can look around and say I am in a good moment, and that’s enough for now.

And it’s enough for me to add a picture of One Direction at the end of this post for good measure …

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