How to Make Your Day More Fulfilling: Tunnels vs Platforms
Dip below the heat-waved streets into the cool, dark, grimy tunnels. Weave your way through the zombie-like crowd who, at most, grunt if you bump into them. The sign of alphabet letters above indicates which train is heading to the Lower East Side. Stand on any subway stop and look down the tunneled platform at its bystanders. In either direction, practically every passenger is staring down at the little device in their hands. Effectively tuning out the tunnel around them.
Doors open and there is a hustle to get inside before they close again. The trains whoosh and whistle by, jostling the same zombie-like crowd. Some still standing, some now sitting. Jostle to the left, sway to the right. At the next platform, the cars screech to a halt and begins releasing its passengers. They awake from their daze and continue on to what it is that they were waiting for. To arrive at a birthday celebration, at a fundraiser, at a gala, at a sports match, at a wedding, at an important meeting, at a happy hour.
Twenty minutes passed by and nobody is sure where those seconds went.
What did we miss?
Too often do we focus on the big things only, the ones that are the platforms of our lives. These platforms clearly denote a new and exciting beginning, or a melancholy or perhaps rightful ending. Or maybe they are graduating from university, meeting someone special, earning a big promotion, purchasing a house, getting married, having a baby. These are the platforms we tend to mark as significant.
Our everyday is the tunnel. The place where we could be having an enlightening conversation with new friends, or really listen to the song with the beautiful melody, or watch a stranger's smiling lips come to rest. But unfortunately, we instead treat the tunnels as a void in-between the platforms, or from one big event in our lives to the next. We tune out. We only pay attention to our lives when we reach our next important stop.
While the big things are undoubtedly great, we cannot let those be the only dots of happiness within our lives. The little things will never scream for your attention, but they are always patiently awaiting to be noticed.
If we could teach ourselves to notice the little things, wouldn't the whole journey be more enjoyable? Not just the platforms?
Malinda Meadows is an Ohio native who was letting grief blanket her life.
She found healing through traveling and nature. She discovered changes of location led to changes in her mindset. It helped her process grief and forge a new path with greater optimism and happiness. Realizing the benefit of deliberate change, she now leads a more balanced and mindful life inspired by simple changes.
She blogs regularly at malindainthesnow.com to help others find change, however small, outside their box in order to live a happier, healthier life.