Seasons of Life: Appreciate All of Them and Keep Each Alive
So the other day I heard my new favorite song by Foster the People, "Sit Next to Me." There is something about this song that just spoke to me, and it wasn't necessarily the words. The beat, the music, the setting it created--took me back to feeling young and carefree. "Well, Kristen, aren't you already young? You don't have kids, so your level of responsibility certainly can't be that bad," you might say. And you're right. I'm still fairly young, and I don't have kids, so I certainly cannot speak to those experiences, as that's not my season of life yet. Yet, I'm an adult and the never-ending responsibility is there. On top of it, (as you will always read in my reflective essays), I'm a type A perfectionist that believes in putting my all into everything I do. It's a great attribute (at times), as I get stuff done and think I do it well (due to my high expectations), but I was feeling lately it was taking its toll on me and was not feeling myself. I enjoy life and am thankful for every day, but I was missing enjoying life on my own time and the way that I used to enjoy it.
When I was in my late twenties living in my apartment, I was busy with work (and really looking back I was hyper focused on it) but did not have the level of responsibilities I have now. I was also not huge on the eating habits I have now adopted. I would pop open a bottle of wine, pour it in my fancy wine glass (I still use those), turn on my "wine nights" playlist on my iPod in my Bose dock (which still has awesome sound by the way), and put pizza rolls in the oven (ok, so I still love my pizza, but my frozen pizza options are better now). I wouldn't care if my music bothered the neighbors too much and would dance all around my apartment, texting my best friend and new boyfriend on my fancy iPhone.
I drink wine and love music, but I honestly haven't done the two together in a long time like that. So when I heard that song, something about it brought me back to my apartment and made me want to turn up the music, pour the wine, and dance. So I did, and it made me happy.
I don't know about you, but my memories are pretty sensory driven, from music, to smells, and taste. I know the songs from all the football house parties in college, as well as those I used to drive around to in my Camaro in high school, the smell of Abercrombie and Auntie Anne's pretzels takes me back to when I was in grad school working as a men's fragrance girl at Macy's, and there are even scents (Anything Bath & Body Works circa 1998) that take me back to when I was in 8th grade, listening to Backstreet Boys, dreaming of my crush, and seeing Titanic three times in the theater.
I've also always been a hopeless romantic, that loves to reminisce and romanticize my life (which I'm doing now). I'll admit, I think I even lost some of that recently as I have gotten older (and I've missed that part of me!).
So thanks Foster the People to helping me remember that Life is Beautiful. I love all aspects of my life--past, present, and future. I love what I've been blessed with--my family, Terry, my house, my career, Cooper and Ginger, and the various talents I have. But I also love the different seasons of my life that made me who I am today and am glad I can still revisit those whenever I want to remember who I am, where I came from, and why life is beautiful, even if it's ever changing.
So next time you hear that song, smell that smell, or taste that taste, feel free to let yourself go and relive that memory. You can still do those things and be that person--there are no age limits. Yes, there are different seasons of life, but that doesn't mean you can't revisit them every now and again. Take the time to enjoy a little bit of life when it gets too crazy (otherwise, you will actually go crazy). It's good for your mental health and well-being. Drive a little fast (but be safe ;)), take another sip of wine, kick off those shoes to dance, or eat that piece of chocolate.