Enduring vs. enjoying

On Sunday, Scott and I have a new tradition we recently started. After our workout, while eating breakfast, we watch an episode of Joel Osteen’s ministry on DVR. We have a ton of them saved on there (his show airs every Sunday night) and we like to use his sermons as a way to start our week off on the right foot. He has this uncanny way of using the simplest of messages to turn my perspective right around. His words are always so filled with joy — it’s written all over his face as he speaks. I dig that.

So anyway, this Sunday we watched an episode that was about staying grateful as the key to being happy. A few snippets from his sermon:

“We can either complain or praise…I’d urge you to choose praise.”

“Make a list of things that you are grateful for in life — stop focusing on the things that are upsetting to you and flip those thoughts around. Use that list to gain (or re-gain) perspective.”

“Next time that alarm clock goes off – be thankful for it. It means you’re still alive.”

He used one particularly poignant example of his brother (a doctor) who went through a period of struggle. He was working a million hours a day, he had a newborn at home that meant lots of sleep-less nights and was generally not in a very happy place. One of his patients had just passed on, and his wife was still at the hospital. She noticed that Joel’s brother seemed very anxious and stressed so she asked him how he was doing. He explained his situation, how tired he was, how much stress he was under, how hard it was to juggle a 60+ hour work week with a newborn at home. The newly-widowed woman responded, with tears in her eyes, as follows: “I’d give anything to go back to those days. To caring for my children. Cuddling them back to sleep at night. Feeding them each morning and watching them grow and prosper.” Joel’s brother sat back, stunned. His perspective was way off. This woman, who had just lost her husband, had incredible perspective. He’d been missing out. He was simply enduring vs. enjoying. You better believe he went home that night, overjoyed to change a diaper, get up in the night for the 3am feeding, and to kiss his wife before leaving for another long day at the hospital.

That was a long story but I had to share it — that message, “enduring vs. enjoying” is incredible to me. How often do we each find ourselves enduring the days, missing out on the things that make our worlds go ’round? We have just one life to live, ONE. Yet we’re often just enduring that life, not enjoying it.

(I legit opened this Dove chocolate on Sunday night, *how* these little messages just appear at just the right moment in time, I’ll never understand it…)

So today – and everyday – I’m going to make an even bigger effort to enjoy my day, and not endure it. I’ll use Sunday’s run as an example. It was freezing cold. It would’ve been so easy to phone it in, calling it off in favor of unscheduled rest. But instead of that – we enjoyed that run. Frozen faces and all. Because we were able to run, to move those legs, to feel that icy cold air against our skin, to hear the birds chirping around us, to see the sun shining in our faces. To be alive. Freezing. But alive.

Enjoying vs. enduring.
…don’t miss out.

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41 thoughts on “Enduring vs. enjoying

  1. Great post Jess! It’s all in the attitude!!! I don’t know if it’s runners or what but i tend to see a lot of people unhappy either with their runs, or they just start their day complaining. Every day is a gift and a fresh start!

    • Hm now that you mention it, I can totally see *some* runners getting too caught in their own way to relish their lives just a little bit more, enjoying those miles, and life OUTSIDE those miles too. But I think it’s not just a symptom of runners, it happens to a LOT of us. I am guilty of it and have been trying to re-center and re-focus much more this year than ever. This is why you’ll probably see more posts like this from me in the future – tinged with perspective.

    • Exactly. Because our lives have become SUCH a whirlwind today, it is so, so, SO hard to step back from all that to gain the much-needed perspective we ALL need in our days. Joel’s message to me yesterday was totally right place, right time.

    • I *was* emotional watching Joel speak yesterday – especially when even HE got teary relaying the story about the newly-widowed wife and his brother. I sat there, tears streaming, just stunned by the simplicity of such an important message. Beautiful, really – especially since I was able to share that moment with Scott while we ate breakfast. REALLY started my week off on the exact right footing.

    • I can totally see why you and your husband would get into that “march” to 8pm each night! Those are your moments to exhale, enjoy a few moments as husband and wife vs. father and mother and do-er. But like you said, by *always* doing that march, you’re missing out on the little moments of joy in your hectic days with your kids.

  2. Great post. My mom and I often talk about this concept in terms of “re-writing the story.”
    For whatever feels bad or the “enduring” feeling….tell the story of what’s happening in a new way, with a new perspective, and then it feels totally different!
    I’ll be enjoying today, every single minute 🙂

    • That is so awesome to hear. Like you said, nobody is perfect, we’re all bound to shift back into old habits now and then, but to hear you say that through concerted effort and focus on enjoying vs. enduring, your life has changed in incredible ways. Beautiful.

  3. This post is EXACTLY what I needed as of late. I feel like with pregnancy I am not enjoying it enough! I’m just enduring. I currently only work PRN so I feel like I’m not enjoying my days…I’m just enduring them until I go to sleep. This morning I woke up feeling like I needed to accomplish alot today. I made a checklist and have almost gotten everything crossed off for the day! One thing I forgot to add though? Getting outside for some sunshine! Thanks for this reminder!

    • aw friend, I know you are facing a seriously rough spot right now. I do NOT blame you for enduring vs. enjoying. To me, there is a time and a place to “Endure” and this sounds like the place you need to be in to get through. And then you can slowly get back to enjoying, right? Hugs.

  4. This is an awesome post my friend. Thank you so much for this one. One reason I try to do my to-enjoy lists is to remind myself of some of the little things each day that make me happy or that I’m thankful for regardless of all the crap going on around me.

    • You are very welcome, my friend! I love your to-enjoy lists for that very reason — even after the most hectic or frustrating days, you always come back to that to enjoy list and find something, no matter how minor it may seem, to be joyful about. I dig that.

  5. I just wrote a post about my freezing run this weekend that I thought that I would hate, but ended up feeling so blessed because I CAN RUN!! How often do we take even that for granted. One thing that I believe in is the power of perspective. I have had to sit back time and again and readjust my attitude. In fact I just got some bad news today and I am asking, “Why Lord?!” I started getting upset and disappointed. Then I thought, are my emotions helping the situation. No. I had to change my perspective. It’s a tough thing to do, but the benefits are overwhelming. Great post friend!

    • I LOVED your post. I literally commented on it at the same time you were over here commenting on my post! Like I said in my comment to you – your perspective and faith is incredible. Truly. No matter what you face, you always find a way to bring a bit of positive perspective to things. It’s awesome. Hang in there friend, hugs.

  6. Wow, this post really hit a cord with me today. Staying positive in the midst of a difficult situation is something that I have struggled with – last night was particularly tough. Some days it’s hard. But it’s such a beautiful thing to have people in your life to remind you to enjoy, not just endure. Life’s too short – what’s it for if you don’t have a smile on your face 🙂

    • I am so glad this post helped you today my friend — you’re right, nobody is perfect, nobody can have awesome perspective 100% of the time, it sometimes takes a reminder or two to get back to enjoying vs. enduring. And you are absolutely right – it IS beautiful to have friends in your life to send that reminder your way when you need it. I’m glad I could be that friend today! xoxo

    • I think we could all use that reminder now and then, huh? That’s partly why I post about this topic (perspective) fairly often. As a personal note to self as well as a reminder to all of you. So easy to get in our own way sometimes, isn’t it?

  7. Awww how fun. He’s brave! I don’t think Jason would EVER take a core fusion class, and just picturing it makes me laugh. But hey, you never know. What a fun way to spend V-Day weekend. P.S. I’ve never taken a barre class. What are the main differences to core fusion since I know you’ve done both?

    • You should dare him to try! He’d be totally surprised by how killer it is, in fairly certain 🙂

      barre n9ne classes, the ones that use the barre (not all classes at the studio do), is fairly similar to a core fusion open class, with their own b9 twist, I think you’d love it! We should plan a b9 date meet-up soon, dying to meet you!

  8. Pingback: Love to run – winter and summer edition | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

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