Written by: Jorinde Berben
Image credit: pexels.com
I live in a beautiful city. The city is old, charming, well-loved by tourists, and currently pretty much empty. On my way to school, I usually take the fastest, most efficient route; but the last few weeks, I’ve taken time to diverge from the regular path and to take little detours into allies I haven’t seen before, and past the large, impressive squares that are usually so crowded with tourists. I’ve found so much joy in these detours, and it set me to thinking about why that is. Why is the scenic route so much more gratifying? And does it only work geographically or are there other scenic routes we can take in life?
Taking the scenic route only ever has one benefit: it’s more interesting. It’s never faster, more cost-efficient or more practical. The scenic route only offers more beauty, more pleasure, perhaps more rest and time. Deciding for yourself that you want to take this route, telling yourself you deserve to do so, means allowing yourself to find more beauty and pleasure in your day to day life. You’ve decided you are worth enjoying this part of your life to the fullest, and rightly so.
You can take the scenic route when walking, or driving, or biking… but there are other times when the scenic route is an option as well. Here are some non-geographical scenic routes you can enrich your life with…
- In the kitchen
When you’re preparing a classical family dish, instead of following your own, trusted recipe, throw in some new ingredients. Perhaps you can add a spice or vegetable to it that makes it more colourful? Or how about decorating it with a bit of green or roasted seeds? Play around with your staples to give them an interesting twist.
- In the bathroom
Instead of just taking your daily shower as quickly as possible, opt for a bath from time to time. Or treat yourself with a new shower gel. Or put on some favorite music to sing/dance/relax to. There are many ways to beautify this daily moment.
- In the laundry room
Learn to fold your clothes in ways that are not only efficient but also fun and visually appealing. My shirts are organized by colour, for example. Not because that’s more efficient, but because I like the way it looks in my drawer. It offers me a spark of joy (thank you Marie Kondo).
- At work
Do you work at the same desk all day? Or do you drive around in the same service vehicle? Dress it up from time to time with some fresh flowers. Decorate with pictures, or a beautiful stone, or a colourful postcard that offers an inspiring quote (that is NOT about goals or efficiency. That’s not the point here!)
- With others
Whether it’s at work, or with your friends or family… we often find ourselves in the same routines with the people we meet often. It can be really interesting to ask yourself how these interactions could be made more beautiful, more joyful. Perhaps you can offer a hug (post-covid) or an out-of-the-blue compliment. Maybe you could talk about something completely different for a change. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, share some of your truest truths, some vulnerability.
We seem to think about life is lived from one big moment to the next, but I’ve heard that when the end draws near, we find out life is lived in the little moments in between. Let’s make them as beautiful as we possibly can.