September 13, 2017

Grant Yourself Permission to Enjoy Life

We had the opportunity to go to Alaska for a friend’s wedding this month.

There were what felt like a million things to do beforehand (especially at work). I almost regretted buying our tickets the week of our flight, because I was writing IEPs until midnight multiple nights. Looking back now, I’m so glad we went.

There is no place on Earth like Alaska. It is wild, raw, and simply mesmerizing.

Everything from the mountain peaks, arrays of leaf colors, slippery glaciers, and free roaming creatures captivated me.

We went in early September, so we were able to experience Fall unraveling. The mountains become whiter each day we were there. The winds grew stronger, the air got cooler, the trees started to shed their leaves, and you could hear staff celebrating their last work day of the season during many of our later stops. We visited Glacier view, Talkeetna, Palmer, and Anchorage.

On our last day, we took the train back to the airport. I highly recommend the train ride, if you like laid back tours. The view from up-top is awesome. We also had the opportunity to meet a lot of great folks from other parts of the U.S. and Canada during our meals.

Not only did we love the scenery, but being a part of our friends’ wedding was so special. Laughing with our friends in our van, sharing the sites on our hikes, and the nights by the fire warmed our soul.

We relished every minute of it.

I really hope we seize more opportunities like this. A former colleague of mine gave me some advice a few years back, when she noticed I was working many late evenings. She kindly told me that “No one wishes they had worked more often on their death bed. I know that sounds horrible, but she's right. People always regret not having spent more time with loved ones or enough time doing what they enjoy. Life is too beautiful to be used up stuck in an office or behind a screen, day in and out.

Don’t get me wrong -- I’m a big believer in hard work. You definitely have to put in the effort to reap the benefits. There are some "seasons" in life that require a little extra hustle too (like going to grad school), and some nights will inevitably call for overtime, but I think it's alright to adjust the "American dream".

If we keep ourselves too busy, we’ll miss out. The work won’t go away. It’ll be there when we get back. I promise. Go on the adventure, take that cooking class in the evenings, call your parents, hang out with your friends.

Press the pause button from time to time to soak in a little life.

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