A long time ago I was reading an article somewhere on the web (which for the life of me I cannot find) about thriving vs. surviving. The author was talking about what she needed to take her life to the next level, to move from surviving to truly thriving. Although this was a few years ago, the idea made a huge impact on me. I made my own thrive list, and I’ve come back to it again and again since then.
I recently revisited my thrive list and thought it would be fun to share it here. These are the things that either indicate I’m thriving, or that I need to intentionally add to my life to move from surviving to thriving. Things that are above and beyond my basic survival: eating, sleeping, getting out of the house, etc.
Eating healthy and getting moving. This is nothing groundbreaking, but as I get older it becomes more and more important to me. I feel my best emotionally when I’m taking care of my body.
Consistently getting a good night’s sleep. Survival mode is 6 hours, but when I can get to bed early enough to consistently get 7+ hours of sleep I’m operating on a whole new level. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time this happened.
Time to get lost in a book. I love reading, this you know. But there is a difference between only being able to find a few mins here and there in between tasks or at the end of the day before I can’t keep my eyes open any more, to being able to really dive in for and truly get lost in a book, loosing my sense of space and time. This is thriving. And for me, it all comes down to time management.
A few friends who “get” me and who I can talk to about things both small and large. I’ve never had one person or friend who is my everything, I rely on having a small number of close friends, who I feel if I can’t go to one about something I can go to another. Between them all I can talk to about everything. A side note- time for cultivating these friendships is also necessary for thriving.
Time for spiritual development. I was purposefully vague in this description, because it looks like different things at different times. Most of the time this looks like scripture study, but it also includes meditation, writing, reading books about faith, and sometimes just reading personal development books. Shauna Niequist and Brene Brown are two of my favorite authors to read when I want something non-LDS.
Freedom to pursue hobbies. This freedom is both with my time and finances. Unfortunately, its been so long since I’ve cultivated any hobbies (other than reading and this blog) that I’m not really sure what else this looks like right now. Maybe at this stage in life, with little kids, reading and writing is the best I can do. (Though I’d like to include photography, gardening, a few classes, and maybe some cross-stitching.)
A big picture view of my life- a sense of my purpose and identity beyond the immediate. This one is the last piece of the puzzle, the one that when I’ve truly got it everything else just seems to fall into place. I can handle the day-to-day household tasks and endless caring for and cuddling with children because I understand how it all fits into the big picture, and I can clearly see exactly my role in it. Having a sense of identity and purpose that transcends the day-to-day is something I’ve been reaching for and struggling with for the last few years (maybe since after Porter was born and I became a mother, but even more so after quitting my job after having Wyatt). Its been a tough and sometimes dark struggle, but I think I’m just about there. Its within my grasp, I can taste it. Its making me simultaneously very excited and also a little scared about how it will change our lives. And I hope to share this with you very soon.
So what would be on your thrive list? What are things that indicate you’re thriving or that you need to add to your life? Please leave me a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts and know whats on your list!