Today’s post is a free preview of a lesson in my upcoming Love What You Have course, a 3-week email course dedicated to loving what you’ve got instead of focusing on what you don’t.
I believe with all my heart in the power of loving what’s around you—because just as there will always be imperfection and things you don’t have, there will always be pieces of your life and your surroundings that are perfect, abundant, and just what you need at any given moment.
I also acknowledge that especially in this crazy world we live in, it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees: to become so caught up in fast-paced living and infinite options for things we could attain, that we glance past what we’ve got right in front of us.
Here’s how it works: Sign up here for the course, and you will receive one email each weekday for 3 weeks (weekends are for catchup and relaxing, because who needs lessons on the weekends?). Each email will contain a different way to love what you have. You’ll receive ideas to shift your perspective, as well as actionable tips to find joy and satisfaction in what you already have. At the end of the course, you’ll have your own mini library, which you can return to again and again, when you are feeling overwhelmed by choices or dissatisfied with where you are and what you have. Grasping this hold on what you have provides comfort in the present and an abundant place from which to grow.
Lesson 4: Make a personal list of amenities
You know how hotel websites always have a list of amenities? If you stay here, you’ll also get free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, indoor pool and sauna!
Today we’re going to make an amenities list . . . for your life. The things you get, just for being where you are, and living where you choose to live.
Since you have the internet connection necessary to take this email course (or read this blog), I’ll bet you have a whole host of modern day, paid-for-by-your-taxes-or-generous-strangers amenities that you don’t think about using on a day-to-day basis. Let’s count a few of these blessings, shall we?
Today’s action item: Make a list of amenities you have access to, just for living where you do.
I’ll help you start with a few that I think we’ll have in common:
A public library
I will never stop geeking out about libraries, purely from the stance that we have access to more fresh reading material than we could ever read in a lifetime, without paying a penny. Plus, public libraries usually offer movies, free internet and a change of scenery for people like me who like to work from different locations. (Have you ever found yourself jonesing after a new book you don’t have the budget for . . . only to realize you can rent it at the library? I can’t be the only one who’s experienced that particular type of awesome.)
Parks are great big lawns where you don’t have to do any of the yard work, you can just kick back and enjoy the nature and the scenery. Bonus points for swinging benches, paths, bodies of water and playgrounds. (Just because you’re a grown-up, doesn’t mean you don’t need to get on a swing every once in a while. Live a little!)
Scenery and local attractions
Jon and I went camping this summer to a little town about 45 minutes from our house. We’d never been to that little corner of the state, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had exploring the scenic landscape, hiking and exploring an old fire tower I’d never heard of before that day. Most of us assume we need to get on a plane or take a cross-country road trip to have a great vacation, but have you explored what’s easily accessible to you, say, within an hour of home? I bet you can find at least one day trip worth having, or one scene worth soaking in.
Now, get going on your list. I’ll give you a few more that are on my list, to help spark your brainstorming session:
- A hiking path up a gorgeous bluff (dynamite workout, with a beautiful view of the city as a reward for making it to the top)
- 7 mile paved walking path around a beautiful lake in the middle of the Mississippi River Valley
- Beaches on the river, and gorgeous flower gardens by the levee (I love to take breaks from work, and walk around by the flower gardens)
- Free museums, like the Watkins Heritage Museum
- Our city park & rec deparment offers free canoe and kayak rental in the summer, just because. (Awesome, right? You should totally move here.) UPDATE: This is no longer free…but it’s just $5 for the YEAR. Still a pretty good deal, I’d say.
Now it’s your turn. I bet you can find some amazing amenities you may have forgotten about—and the more you stretch yourself to think of them, the more likely you’ll be to find some gems that you’ll want to make use of. Does your apartment complex or neighborhood have a pool? Are there any free museums in your area? Check out your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau website to see if they have a list of free resources and things to do in your city.
Once you have your list, it’s time to love what you’ve got. Star the items you forgot about, and make a note to take advantage of them. Keep the list around for the next time you’re looking for something to do and can’t think of any good options.
Want extra credit? Leave the top 3 items on your amenities list in the comments below!