“As an adult, I am sure you have caught yourself thinking ‘I wish I could be a 4-year-old for just one more day.’ Although children have their own challenging days and personal problems, these seem so trivial in an adult world. As we grow older, going through each school year, each one gets harder and more time-consuming. Some pick up a job while attending school, especially during the college years, and everyone works to keep up with hobbies and social life. We have to do all these things simultaneously – each and every single one having its own importance in life.
Too rarely do we ‘take a step back.’ By that, I mean pausing whatever you are doing and taking that time to acknowledge your feelings or to admire this very moment. It is so important to appreciate every single minute in life, from the challenging moments to the very happiest times. All of these experiences teach us something.”Pauline Goerges, Student
Share your journey and why this is important to you
My junior year in college was not easy. I found myself juggling six different classes while trying to keep up with my hobbies and my social life. On top of that, I was also working nights and weekends. It was probably one of the most stressful times during my life. When I finally reached Christmas break, I was exhausted. My body was burned out: I became sick for pretty much all of that winter vacation. It was hard for me to find peace in my mind, to let go of all this stress, because I knew it would all return when the new semester began. Life was moving at an extremely fast pace.
Then, in the spring, the Covid-19 lockdown started. On the one hand, I was anxious about not being able to finish my semester the way I had imagined, not graduating in-person, and not seeing my friends. On the other hand, though, I was relieved. All of a sudden, there was no pressure to be ready and leave at a certain time. Now I could attend classes in my PJ’s at home while drinking my cup of tea. There were no more events and scheduled meetings I was supposed to attend.
At first, I was not okay with the sudden shift. Not at all. Lockdown seemed to double the length of each day, and it felt like life was moving in slow-motion. I wanted life to keep going at its fast pace because that’s what I was used to. But after a couple of weeks, I realized that this was what I had needed. For the first time in a long time, I felt free. I started focusing on the things I hadn’t been able to do in a long time but that always filled me with joy. I picked up playing the piano again, I started painting again, and I pulled out recipes I had wanted to make for a long time. I had time to cook with my dad, play board games with my family, and watch movies at night. Now, no matter whether it’s a good or bad day, I make sure to appreciate certain moments and find the good in each day. I focus on what this slow-down is letting me accomplish, how it is letting me get to know myself better, how I am learning to be creative, and how I am practicing my patience.
How would you like to inspire others?
Now it is your turn. Take a step back, if not every day, then at least a few times throughout the week. I want you to stop yourself and appreciate whatever you are doing at that moment. It doesn’t have to be something special. I can even be part of your daily routine, like cooking dinner for you or your family. Even moments like these have positive sides to them. Step back and realize what you have learned that day, what you have accomplished, what you still need to work on. Life is not perfect. But even the experiences, circumstances, and situations we evaluate as negative can teach us something. Even in the difficult times, it’s possible to find the positive aspects. It’s your mindset. You control it.
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