Meaningful Things

“Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways.” Rachel Naomi Remen

I tend to go back and forth between craving routine and craving change. I love having a daily routine because it gives me a sense of comfort, I know what to expect, and it takes way less energy than having to figure out every next step. But then after a while, I start to get bored with that routine and I want something to change. When that happens, I will incorporate some variety into my routine, like switching up my daily workout or taking a long weekend trip, which tends to be enough of a break in the monotony to scratch that itch. But then other times when I switch things up, it doesn’t seem to give me that same feeling. I realized in those times, I’m not needing to add anything to my life, but I’m looking for something more meaningful amongst what I’m already doing. To find meaning in what we already do, we need to switch our perspectives and see familiar things in new ways. We can do this with anything! For example, I’ve made a mundane chore like flossing my teeth, into an activity I’ve come to love and consider a meaningful part of my routine. At first, flossing was something I wished I didn’t have to spend time on it. So I thought about what it means to floss my teeth, and as someone who really values health and self-care, I started to see flossing as important as exercising and a reflection of what I value (I value putting in time and energy to take care of my body). I started listening to music while I flossed, or did it while I watched tv, and I made the activity enjoyable. It didn’t take long before I started to genuinely enjoy flossing and I stopped seeing it as something that uses up my time, but as something I want to make time for. It’s pretty incredible that we are capable of finding meaning in our lives without changing anything other than our perspective. What meaningful things in your life are you already doing?