Life Tip #168

Like me, you probably start feeling more gratitude than usual at this time of year, what with Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the other year end holidays. With that in mind, I think a few of my Life Tips on this subject of gratitude are in order…

Life Tip #168 – The grass is often greener…right where you are.

“I’d like it here if I could leave and see it from a long way away.”

That quote is what I thought was a line from an R.E.M. song called “Good Advices.” (Before the days of internet searches, if musicians murmured their lyrics, we simply had to guess at the lyrics, and R.E.M. was notorious for murmuring.) But no less important, I’ve always thought this quote perfectly exemplified how many of us view our lives.

It certainly applied to me as a restless young adult. I constantly longed for home when I was traveling abroad, but only so long as I was not at home. When I was home, I longed for other places. Even when I lived in incredible places like Northern California, Europe, or South America, I often longed to be somewhere else.

In the military, we had a saying: “Your last station was your favorite, your current station is the worst, and your next station will be the best of all.” Yep, that about sums it up. We are never satisfied with our current situation, no matter how great it is. I’ve found that this applies to the places we live, the jobs we hold, basically whatever situations we find ourselves in.

I guess it’s human nature to long for what was, to regret or take for granted what is, and to dream of a future that may or may not ever become. How sad that we miss the beauty and blessings of the present, often until they are in the past.

Let’s stop doing that!

…he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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