It's refreshing to realize that I actually REALLY, REALLY, REALLY love what I do.
As I've gotten older, I've come to deeply appreciate the day in, day out routine of work and family.
I enjoy beach vacations, of course. But I've learned something about myself: I'm more content sitting at my computer crafting stories than I am most anywhere else in the world.
This used to be a problem, because with such a focused work ethic, I often felt I lacked the ability to appreciate the little things in life—the things I took time to notice only on vacation.
But then, slowly, over the course of many years, I learned that such an appreciation doesn't come by traveling to a distant location. It comes from being present right where I am, no matter where that is.
I've learned I can enjoy the beautiful sunsets while sitting in the park across the street from my house, just as much as I enjoy the sunsets on the beach 1200 miles away. I've learned I can harness the peace that the sunset brings—that I can really absorb it and let it impact me, right outside my front door.
I can enjoy a deep conversation with a friend right in the middle of a crazy book deadline, or embrace dinner with my family at the end of the busiest day of the month.
I challenge myself to focus on PRESENCE, everywhere I go, no matter what I'm engaged in at that moment. When I do this, joy from the daily routine starts to feel hauntingly similar to that delicious "vacation" feeling.
Does this mean I'm growing up? Perhaps growing wiser?
If so, then I guess growing up is a beautiful thing.