To Thrive or Merely Survive

How are you living your life right now? Do you feel overwhelmed, overworked, anxious or chronically stressed? Do you feel like you are just surviving? For too many of us, this is the reality. We live our lives in a rush, running from activity to activity. The minute we wake up, we switch on autopilot and start moving. Get ready for work, kids dressed, breakfast, grab some coffee, kids to school, more coffee, try to work out, kids to soccer, etc.. We get our food from a drive through and gulp down our meals in the car. Can you remember what you ate yesterday? When we get home we collapse in front of the t.v and binge watch bad Netflix shows. (I confess, I watched Tiger King too and Carol Baskin did it!) It’s exhausting! We seem to have forgotten how to live our lives with intention. It’s soooo easy to get wrapped up in the go, go, go of our day. There’s an adrenaline rush or energy we feel when we are constantly busy, that we become addicted too. But what if we could slow down, notice all the small, beautiful things that surround us, REALLY see the people we interact with daily? What would that look like?

With the recent pandemic I believe we have gotten a taste of living a less hurried life. For those of us who, so far, have been lucky enough not to get covid, the quarantine has forced us to live in a smaller world. We are cooking more, gardening more, spending more time with our family. Many people I have talked to have used this time to reflect on what’s important. Yes, there is still a fear level but if you don’t live in that fear, if you can step outside of it and look in, then it will no longer control you. I believe we can learn from this and turn the survival mode we have been living in, before and now during the pandemic, and find a way to thrive in our lives.

Thriving doesn’t have to be a big, elaborate deal either. It’s all in the small connections we make. It’s looking in the grocery clerks eyes and smiling. It’s putting your phone down and listening to your childs story for the millionth time. It’s going on a nature walk and noticing all the types of trees and birds. It’s pulling up someone who is falling by helping out or donating if possible. It’s trading some veggies you grew with your neighbor who has been canning jam. Most importantly, it’s finding gratitude in all that life sends you. I know that’s hard sometimes but if you can muster up the tiniest bits of gratitude for something that you did that day or something that happened to you, your life will start changing from surviving to thriving. I promise!

My inspiration for writing this is a tomato plant, of all things. The very one you see in the picture. One day during my quarantine in late March, I was sitting on my patio and noticed a 3 inch tall tomato plant growing out of the pea gravel. It somehow managed to find it’s way through the weed block! I decided to leave it alone since it had such a strong will to live. (do tomato’s have a will?) Fast forward to today and it is now sweeping sideways across the gravel like a wave and it is loaded with Roma tomatoes. As I was picking the first ripe one it dawned on me that this plants seed was dropped by a bird, germinated, tore through the weed block and dry gravel and survived. Not only did it survive, it is thriving!!! I am truly grateful for this amazing tomato plant.

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