Fresh into retirement, my Dad and stepmom live an entirely laid-back lifestyle of doing absolutely nothing. On Sunday my stepmom did not wake up until 1100, something I haven't done since my teenage years. My Dad spends his time watching woodworking YouTube channels.
Their life, in general, is entirely carefree.
I found myself the other day sitting in my office working and immediately noticed my stepmom humming a Christmas song. At first it was cute, but as the humming continued I found myself becoming more and more annoyed. 'Doesn't she ever stop?" I asked myself.
No, she doesn't.
She continued to hum as she went about her day relaxing, leisurely picking up after the family, and making lunch.
I started to really think about this and specifically why it was bothering me. I couldn't come up with a logical reason. Then I asked myself, when the hell was the last time you hummed a song out of joy or just because it is your God given right to hum a damn song?
I couldn't even remember. I immediately starting blaming all of the things that would excuse my anti-humming stance. Work is stressful. Homeschooling takes a lot out of me. Keeping up with the house. Bills are awful. Coronavirus is unfair. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, car maintenance, standing outside while my dog takes 20 minutes to go to the bathroom, and every other minute inconvenience is an excuse for not just humming, but virtually anything.
She's retired, I told myself. She doesn't have as much stress.
Then, just today, I had a contractor come to do some work at the house. As I stepped away to clean up my breakfast, I heard him humming in the other room. Did I mention he was wearing a Santa hat?
It was in this moment that I was actually reminded of Cody Alford's entire message (@thecodyalford - if you aren't following you should be). The framework of his lifestyle and platform is being content and satisfied in your life. To be specific, it IS NOT ignoring mental health, which is oftentimes something that cannot always be controlled. It is about the factors you do have or can control.
While his lifestyle is different than mine, the message is still applicable. These things, these inconveniences that I can so easily disregard, are everything I have worked for. My home, my son, my job... every thing but Corona (which is awful and can go pound sand).
I have no excuse for being a bit uptight about things. Retirement wouldn't make me less OCD, it would give me more time to organize shit. My dog will still take his sweet little time marking every surface in my front yard. The bills still come, the car still needs fixed. Everything will still be there no matter where you are in your life.
Yet my stepmom was so content and comfortable that she was humming. My contractor was so content and in the holiday spirit that he was doing the same in a stranger's house.
And for some reason, I find that oddly beautiful.
So here's to putting in more effort in seeking and expressing my happiness and being content with this f*ckin' beautiful life.