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  • Amanda Chen

a “real” day in the life

Updated: Apr 16

Looking at a bunch of videos about “A Day in the Life” I asked myself, why do we even want to live a day in the life?



Does that mean we want this day in the life to be every single day? I’ll tell you, waking up to the sunrise, meditating to the beach waves, drinking fresh coconut water and balancing my tan eventually gets old. Im starting to question why do we even want to label what a perfect day will be?

We do this a lot. Describe your perfect day at work at your dream job. Describe your perfect day with the relationship of your dreams. Always looking forward and never truly seeing where we already are.


If you’ve been following my journey you know that I bought a one-way ticket to Mexico, sold everything I own and have been literally just living for the last six months. And that means living, not working. Of course, I will find random ways to make money here and there, but there is no plan. Im not working remotely. There is no safety net. I literally just travel and stretch my dollar as long as it can go.


So do you think a day in my life would be good or bad? Depends who you ask.


Today was moving day. I was leaving my mountain house in Etla to a contemporary apartment block in Oaxaca City. Usually moving day is a big deal, but it's moving day for me almost every week. I have been living out of airbnbs pretty much this whole time, but recently I’ve been committing to month long stays.


Before living in Mexico, moving day was at the very most once a year. And it was a pain in the ass every time I moved because I took all the stuff I had in one place and lugged it all the way to another. I had friends come over to help me pack and I made the grossest last meal with whatever leftovers I had in the fridge. It was a one time thing that I mentally prepared myself for and had certain expectations of. But after a while, even this gets old with the amount of moving I’ve been doing.



That’s what a day in the life is like for me. Maybe it´s a good thing, maybe it´s not. But I have the good fortune of more things continuously happening that I cant stay attached to any one event for too long to read into it. If your day is pretty predictable, then I’m sure being late for work or the stale milk in your coffee is really going to take precedent in your mind.


So what can you do to break the routine? Realize the gift in the fact that you can control your own reactions and decisions. If you are having a bad day, you have the power to turn it into a good day by doing something you know will make you feel better. You can get a donut to make up for the bad coffee, or you can make a coffee at the office and enjoy it a little more today. You have the power to completely shift your mindset and look at things in a totally new way.

I’m writing about this because I felt like my day kind of sucked with moving all my things and feeling obviously really uneasy about my decision. I had it pretty good at the mountain house in Etla and my landlord is a bit distant, it's really noisy with all the neighbours, I don't get the rooftop to myself anymore and there’s a dog that won’t stop barking. Oh right, I forgot, I’m in the city haha.

I had a bit of an argument with my new landlord who thought my lease began when I gave my deposit two weeks ago. But she only gave me the keys today. Of course she already gave the home to someone else so my stay here was cut in half. Of course this was frustrating because now I have to look for another house again and was hoping for a break. But now that I think of it who am I kidding, I would have been looking for another house anyway out of habit. Commitment issues? That’ll be another blog post. I digress.


She called someone and at first said the tenant is a foreigner and cant speak English. Then she corrected herself and said that actually I could speak Spanish, but very little. And honestly that was the highlight of my day. I didn’t care about the living situation, that there was no water, that there were no cooking utensils, I just focused on the one thing that made me feel better and suddenly I was having a good day.


I want to be careful about labeling good and bad days though. If you are focused on all the good things then surely you will crash when the one bad thing that happens outweighs everything. Or you could be like me who is so strategically hanging on to the one good thing that your relationship to it is so fragile. Any whiff of a bad thing could totally throw you off. Dont hold on to good things as if they are the only good things that will come to you. Get rid of that scarcity mindset.


Anyway, I'm not locked in to a lease so you know, the journey goes on and we'll see where we end up next. Without focusing on whether something good or bad is happening to you, you can choose to make things happen for you instead. You are no longer the receiver of good or bad news, you are the active creator of good or bad things. How incredible is that?

The biggest learning is that I have the power to change my day, and with that in mind, no day is ever a good or a bad day. It's just another day and we keep on living.


Tune in to the podcast for the full episode and a little Chinese proverb that sparked this thought!



 

Maybe so, Maybe not. We’ll see.


There is a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”


A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”


A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”


The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story. Additionally, no one really lives long enough to find out the ‘whole story,’ so it could be considered a great waste of time to judge minor inconveniences as misfortunes or to invest tons of energy into things that look outstanding on the surface, but may not pay off in the end.

The wiser thing, then, is to live life in moderation, keeping as even a temperament as possible, taking all things in stride, whether they originally appear to be ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Life is much more comfortable and comforting if we merely accept what we’re given and make the best of our life circumstances. Rather than always having to pass judgement on things and declare them as good or bad, it would be better to just sit back and say, “It will be interesting to see what happens.”


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