NVR Toolkit – Be Grateful
We’ve built our life just the way we like it – No Vacation Required (NVR) style. It’s not always easy, but we’re happy to be living each and every day on our terms. Since dismantling our “old” lives, we regularly get a lot of questions about how we do it, why we do it and what exactly our new approach to life is like on the inside.
So, let’s not waste time with the small stuff. Here it is (drum roll please) the #1 most often asked question…
Q: Don’t you guys get sick of being around each other so much of the time?
A: The other day we were having lunch with a friend, and we touched on this topic. Over mac and cheese, we were recollecting how – pre life reconstruction – it got to the point where we were making appointments with each other. Yes, in a pathetic “can we swing dinner two weeks from tomorrow” sort of way. Looking back, it’s sad to think that things ever got so hectic and out of alignment. At the time, though, we were focused on upwardly mobile careers, so there didn’t seem to be time for real priorities. We were a corporate power couple, and we wanted to play the part well. Very well.
So, now, in our awesome new life, memories such as making appointments with each other and communicating largely via “how r u?” texts, are grounding. When one of us is insanely irritated (and it does happen), we try to be quick to remember the big picture and what’s important. We know it’s not gonna be perfect all of the time and we deal with it.
You learn to let small stuff go, and then you learn that most stuff is small stuff. We’re grateful to have realized that we want to make each other, and not a corporate strategy, a priority.
Learning to be grateful has been an immensely important part of building our NVR life.
Certain memories, like the above, keep us mindful of what we have. Another memory we like to keep in the mind vault is calling the credit card company (a while back) to let them know that we’d be traveling out of the country and to please please please not “block” our credit card. Again.
When I was telling the credit card guy on the phone the dates for our upcoming journey, he was astounded at how long we’d be away. I let him know that it’s probably not exactly as thrilling as it may appear; after all, “we’ll be working.” I said. I told him that so that he could contain his excitement. Unexpectedly, though, he becomes even more blown away. He said: “Who gets to travel the world and work from where ever they want?”
Oh… – WE do!
Some ideas for being mindful of how good you’ve got it.
It seems nuts that such a seemingly insignificant conversation could serve as a big reality check for us. It’s not about the conversation. Rather, its about those triggers and activities – whatever they are – that remind us to take stock of what we have. Here are some things we do to stay grateful:
- As mentioned above, we make a habit of remembering those events that remind us 1) how good we have it and 2) why we’re doing what we’re doing.
- We regularly verbalize and write down what we are grateful for.
- We make giving back a priority. Nothing gives you perspective like helping someone out. (More on this in a future post).
- When our minds turn to thoughts of what we don’t have or, perhaps, what we want, we turn our attention back to the here and now – the present. The more you focus on the present, the more “full” you feel. Oh, and breathing mindfully doesn’t hurt either.
In 2011 we want to continue to find the courage to live authentically and to remain mindful of how incredible it is to do so.
What helps you to remain grateful of the life you’ve got?