The Simple Life

How many of us dream of the glamorous life? Even if it’s a simple life, we imagine of perfect happiness, money to make ends meet, a sweet little family, or maybe a single life traveling the world, we imagine this awesome job that’s super fulfilling, and all the most amazing friends. Let’s be real, we all have or are dreaming of this.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Honestly, I’m an advocate for chasing dreams. I love seeing people thrive and love what they’re doing and living the life they’ve always dreamed of.

But here’s the thing. Life never turns out exactly how we imagined. Often it’s nothing we ever imagined. Life is beautiful, but it’s also messy. It comes with hardship, with doubts, with curve balls, with a lot of unexpected stuff (whether they are good or bad). Life is just hard. Am I right?

I’ll tell you something. My life did not turn out as I imagined.

I remember thinking about life as a kid. I dreamed of being married, having an awesome rewarding job where I had great benefits and didn’t have to worry about paying bills, I thought I would have 2 kids (the first one when I was young, like 25 because I didn’t want to be as old as my parents when they had me-HAHA-that is so funny to say now), I definitely thought I’d be working with students, I thought my life would be “perfect”. Oh man, I was naive. And HAHAHA I am in no rush to have kids and I’m almost 27…I’m beginning to think my parents had the right idea. :)

My life is so much better, but there are times it’s hard not to play the comparison game. Sometimes it’s not even with other people, it’s with the life I imagined. Social media also makes it a lot harder. We’re constantly seeing the best of people and not the everyday mess. Or just the reality of life itself.

It’s funny, I thought pursuing my dream of becoming a professional athlete seemed pretty glamorous. You get to a run for a living. All these women I follow seem to be making it financially, have so many great running friends, nailing their times, getting great fitness clothing, man living it large. Bah! Boy was I wrong. And not in a bad way, but in the reality of life kind of way. I think a lot of the times I get most depressed or discouraged have been when I’m not content with my life. I compare it to those who seem to have it better, when in fact, I have it great.

My life is pretty simple. I used to complain about it. I used to think we just didn’t have enough money, I wasn’t doing enough, I didn’t have much purpose, I thought my simple life just wasn’t good enough. Here’s the thing. I love this simple life. I love the fact that my health is priority and I get to influence others along the way. I love that I don’t have to fit a normal schedule or feel the pressure to. Friends, 9-5 jobs are not for me. I used to feel really guilty about that, but now I’ve learned like I’m one of the millions out there who feels the same and doesn’t work 9-5. I love that Rusty and I do life in a 4 mile radius. Going to Trader Joe’s is a big deal for me and that’s only like 7 miles from our apartment. I love that because we have to budget our money, and because I love to cook, that we eat in almost every meal of the week. But I also love when we go out for our simple breakfast date. I love that I get to wear athletic clothing all the time. HAHA SUCKAS out there you have to dress up-I do not envy you. Haha and don’t take that personally, I also know some people genuinely enjoy it and that’s awesome. But I love that my days revolve around waking up, eating good food, meditating, running, community, and coaching people to find their best versions of themselves. Friends, it doesn’t come with a big paycheck. It takes a whole lot of work. It often means my schedule changes and income is not always consistent.

But here’s the thing. I love it.

It’s better than I could have imagined. It’s not all that glamorous. In fact, a lot of the time, it’s just simple. But it’s my life. It’s the life I’ve chosen. I love running up to 20+ miles a day. I love cooking good food. I love having time to rest and fix my heart and mind on the things that are truly important to me.

The world is going to tell us stuff all the time:

I’m not good enough.
I’m not rich enough.
I don’t have all the coolest trends.
I’m to big.
I’m too slow.
I’m not pretty enough.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not successful enough.

THESE ARE ALL LIES!!!! and who defines this anyways?

I’m learning to walk (or run) with my head held high. My life looks a lot different than a lot of my friends. I’m okay with that. Why? Because it’s my life. Your life is yours. There’s no point in trying to be someone you aren’t. Be you. Embrace the messiness of life. Don’t let the grief of the life you dreamed of prevent you from enjoying the life you have. We make our decisions based on what we value. So be confident in that. If you’re not or you’re living in a false reality-make some changes. Choose to be you. Choose to do something different. Yes, we can’t just neglect finances and responsibility, but we can choose what’s important to us and sacrifice the things that don’t really matter. Don’t get wrapped up in the comparison game friends. Embrace you.

Contentment doesn’t come from changing your circumstances, but finding joy in the midst of them. It’s perspective. Often we need to change our own.

Joy infiltrates my soul when I choose to see what’s good, no matter the circumstance.

Jo ButlerComment