Thursday, July 24, 2014

Best Day of Your Life - Kait's Mixtape

Katie Herzig - Best Day of Your Life

Most of Katie Herzig's stuff has graced my OCD playlist. I have at least four of her songs on there currently and this one is right at the top. 

I've really started to understand how it's one thing to say something and even to understand it intellectually, but it's a whole different thing to live by it. 

Live every day as though it may be your last. 

Seize the day. 

If death is certain and the time until death is uncertain, what's the most important thing? 

These are the kinds of sayings or phrases that made me feel like I should be doing something. I should be squeezing out all the pips, using up every last drop of life, that time not spend doing was time wasted - lost forever. 

These are the sort of thing that lead me to being an anxious neurotic mess because on an intellectual level I got them - I understood that I am going to die. We all are, and when we die that's it as far as any of us knows. There may be something after but since I have no conscious awareness of anything before it's safe to assume that this life is the only one I'll get and I had better live it well. 

But then living it well was about cramming things in and that wasn't pleasant or enjoyable. I may have been able to say I'd accomplished a lot but I was hardly ever present for any of it. I planned so far in advance that the actual moments I'd been planning for slipped by so quickly it felt more like just striking something off a list than actually having had an experience of something. 

When I first moved to the UK I was definitely in this mind-set. I felt like I was making up for lost time. I wanted to explore, to see and do everything possible. I made huge lists of all the museums I'd visit, the places in Europe I'd get to, the events I'd attend in London. 

Sometimes I was present for these incredible experiences simply because the mind does this for us naturally. 

The first time I went to Trafalgar Square and stood on the steps of the National Gallery is as vivid to me today as it was when it happened because my mind just stopped. I wasn't thinking about the crowds or the journey there or what I was going to do next. I just stood there, looking down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and the sheer history and significance of that spot stopped all my thoughts. I felt the breeze and saw the crispness of the sky and the haziness of the distant buildings. It was amazing. 

And it wasn't about setting anything up or planning or doing or getting anything 'right'. It was just being there. 

So recently - and I mean dry recently - I've begun to relax. 

It's odd because I'm still doing and experiencing and planning but I'm not 'should-ing' any of it. When something doesn't work out and something else happens instead I don't mind because I'm letting go of expectations of things going a certain way. It's no big deal if plans fall through and I'm finding myself more relaxed about planning. I don't put nearly so much energy into it - or maybe it's that the worry about it going 'right' is gone. I plan as much as I can but understand it doesn't always work out and that's fine. That's life. 

Because life is unpredictable and none of us know how long ours will be and for that very reason life is to be enjoyed. To be savoured. It's not about how much we can accomplish in a lifetime. It's about how much we enjoy the time we have, however long or short it may be. 

And for that reason any given day could be the best day of your life simply because you got another one. 

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