Another one of the beauties of summer in Moscow is all the visitors this city gets. Not surprisingly, most visitors tend to tour Russia’s capitol in the season when all the beautiful sites are NOT covered by snow and ice.
This week, we had some guests stay with us for a few days. Their names are Tyler and Tara. Tyler is a distant cousin. Tara is his lovely wife. We were a bit wary at first – we had a really bad experience hosting friends of friends this spring. So, when the travelers showed up on Monday morning, we were excited to see them, but also a bit on our guard.
We needn’t have been worried! Tyler and Tara were an absolute delight, and we had a blast hanging out with them! They’re a refreshing combination of laid-back, but extremely organized and experienced. It was fun to take them around Moscow, hear their story, hang out with them in our kitchen, eat McDonald’s ice cream together, talk writing and photography, and rant a bit about Russia and culture shock experiences.
Hearing them talk about their trip (They’re traveling around the world by bicycle!) was also interesting. I’m challenged by their discipline, hard work and drive. They have a fantastic blog, and journal about their experiences every day, and are dedicated to telling the truth in their writing (even when it’s uncomfortable or awkward, and risks offending someone). It makes for fantastically interesting reading. “Going Slowly” is their motto – taking things one day at a time, always pushing forward.
Their dedication to living in the present, and being disciplined about taking things one day at a time reminds me of one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes:
…the Present is the point at which time touches eternity…in it alone freedom and actuality are offered.
Seize the day, in other words. All you’ve got is right now. Tyler and Tara do this well by pursuing their dreams and being disciplined about putting their values into daily habits and practices: travel, work, writing, photography, and other things.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that the key to success is what you discipline yourself to do every single day. Not only that, but, as the writer at The Happiness Project points out, keeping a consistent habit of doing something every day makes that action easier, but can also contribute to overall contentment and happiness. More eloquently in her own words:
The things you do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life. -Gretchen Rubin
This type of thinking is definitely a shift for me – my personality type is easily and constantly inspired. I’m always creating something new, and like to be spontaneous. All too often, however, my enthusiasm fizzles out before the new project is finished. Disciplining myself to put my priorities into daily habits is a much-needed challenge for me.
I have to ask myself, what’s important to me? What are my priorities? If I really value something, I should focus on it and make time for it every day. How do I transform my priorities into daily habits? How can important things like my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, family and friends, my career, my responsibilities and my health be honored in my normal day-to-day routine?
- If I want to be a good writer, am I writing (at least journaling!) every day?
- If I want to be a good journalist, am I following the news every day?
- If having friends is important to me, do I call, email or meet up with them every day?
- If I want to be a good wife, how do I bless my husband every day?
- If I want to call myself a Christian, do I let God change the way I live my every day life?
Good questions – thanks Tyler and Tara for the inspiration!