Mental Help Net
  •  
Emotional Resilience
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Self Esteem
Life Issues

Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Embracing An Ordinary Life

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 19th 2013

Embracing An Ordinary Life"It's when I get lost in the days's details, or so caught up in worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is."

Taken  from the "Gift of an Ordinary Day, A Mother's Memoir," Karina Kenison. This is the true story of a woman, wife and mother who discovers that what is most important in her life is an ordinary day. Now, her kids are almost grown and, having lost her job and career as a successful editor, she comes to realize what is really important in life. It is not the scrambling to make a lot of money, to be famous, to be the very best, but to enjoy watching her kids grow up and cherish each moment because those moments are gone for good.

For example, she laments the fact, that when the kids were young, it seemed like those years would last forever as she went about the daily routine of raising them and doing her job. At the same time, she realizes that there is not point in lamenting of what was because even this moment will pass and, therefore, it should be enjoyed. As one person who reviewed this book said, "Enjoy the simple things. Time goes fast. Take the time to enjoy your kids before they grow up and leave to college. The best moments are those that are not over-scheduled activities, but the things you do on those "ordinary days". Another reviewer said, "Enjoy the simple things. Time goes fast. Take the time to enjoy your kids before they grow up and leave to college. The best moments are those that are not over-scheduled activities, but the things you do on those "ordinary days."

By contrast, a friend of mine spends countless moments of his life worrying about current events, including the what is happening to the American Economy, American Politics and the international situation. These worries have gotten so bad that he has had to consult a psychiatrist and is now on Zanax to reduce his extreme anxiety. This person, as well as the rest of us, needs to read and remember the Serenity Prayer used by Alcoholic's Anonymous:

"Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time..."

There are ways that people can learn to do this. Meditation is a good way to get into what is important in life. Exercise and good nutrition are equally important and incorporating Yoga into daily life also helps.

I will never forget what Zen Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote about life. This is a paraphrase of a how he handles life: "When I do the dishes I concentrate on that without looking to finish. I absorb myself in that moment because I will never again have that moment."

Enjoy and embrace each moment of now.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

 

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at dransphd@aol.com for details.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    Follow us on Twitter!

    Find us on Facebook!



    This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
    verify here.

    Powered by CenterSite.Net