What is something we don’t want to do, something we hate to “go back to on a Monday morning” and always want to escape?
Answer: Facing Reality.
Reality seems to be something we have to inevitably “confront” like our worst enemy. Why is it that reality has become so negative (reality TV obviously aside!)? Why must reality be dour? Does this mean our daily existence must be a depressing ordeal only to be endured? The words “harsh realities” rolls off our tongues like the words were meant for each other.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
So I looked up reality in the dictionary because I don’t like the negative connotation to the word. However, as I did, something struck me.
One of the actual definitions is this:
• a thing that is actually experienced or seen, esp. when this is grim or problematic: the harsh realities of life in a farming community | the law ignores the reality of the situation.
“especially when this is grim or problematic”????
Isn’t reality really just the truth of something?
The first definition of the word in my dictionary is:
the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them: ORIGIN late 15th cent.: via French from medieval Latin realitas, from late Latin realis ‘relating to things’
If you read the definition above, reality is defined as how the world actually exists as opposed to (this is key) an idealistic or notional idea.
Using this definition someone on vacation would see their time on the beach as the “idealistic or notional idea” and reality as the antithesis.
So here is why I get to thinking about this. When I travel I hear the word reality constantly. When a diver is talking to the dive master he says, “How lucky you are that you don’t live in the real world”. Or, “When are you going to go back to “reality”?
Often people on vacation talk to me on the beach and tell me that “it’s time to go back to reality.”
So here’s the kicker on this whole thing in my mind. Isn’t what you are doing at any moment in time the “state of things as they actually exist”??? aka… Reality?
Sitting on the beach in Tahiti is no more “fake” than sitting in an office Tennessee is “real”. They are both reality. It may not be what you do on most days but it is completely real.
Now I’m thinking back to the example of the diver telling the dive master he doesn’t live in the “real world”. For the dive master his world is completely real while it seems the “ideal” to the diver. So the dive master would inevitably explain that his life does not simply consist of lazing on the beach and swimming in the expansive blue ocean as it might seem. Because he has the need to explain reality in the negative he tells the diver his reality is hours in the hot compressor room filling tanks, hauling hundreds of pounds of dive gear and 12 hour days. He will describe the “harsh realities” of his life. But in truth all of it is his reality, the long hot hours as well as the wondrous time spent under water.
Here’s a news flash. Reality can be REMARKABLE.
Could it be as simple as a change in the way we think of the word? What if we accept the notion of reality as “the state of things as they actually exist”, the way it is defined in the dictionary?
What if you enjoy your vacation on the beach knowing you are completely within the boundaries of reality? Would you look at it differently? And instead of going back to “face reality” you simply went “back to work” or you simply lived each and every day for the reality that it was?
As The Adventure Couple we don’t have a steady Monday to Friday 9-5 job. Because of that many people think we don’t live in the “real world”. But, each and every day is reality whether we are climbing a mountain or climbing over a pile of backed up mail.
So guess what? All the great, amazing, fantabulous days of your life are reality! Spending Saturday biking with your kids is reality! Taking that long awaited vacation is reality.
And when you look at it this way, reality isn’t something to face or confront. It’s each and every day of your life.
Your Life. Every day. Your Reality. Welcome to it!