I cringe each time I hear, “back to reality.”
Maybe because it’s most often heard after something fun is over, like a vacation or an amazing weekend.
Maybe it’s because it’s almost always said in a taunting tone of voice.
Someone saying ‘It’s time to go back to reality” is the slap that flings you from the warm, sparkling I-just-want-to-lie-here sun to the cold comfort of your daily to-do list.
But what are we really saying with that statement?
If you have fun and forget your worries for a bit, that isn’t real?
If you go on vacation or have a great night out, it didn’t really happen?
None of that is real?
The daily grind, traffic, boredom, bleary early mornings, conflicts, working for The Man; that’s the only thing that’s real.
Don’t do that to yourself.
The truth is there’s no such thing as going ‘back’ to reality.
We live in reality every second of every day.
That amazing vacation on the beach? Reality.
That great weekend away that ‘stays in Vegas’? Real.
Relaxing with a book and forgetting it all? As real as the nose on your face.
Doing something that you love is just as much of your reality as your 9-5.
And if you feel like you need to ‘escape’ real life, you’re not escaping it at all. You’re just creating a new reality where you feel better.
Practice seeing everything as real, not just the boring/tedious bits.
Why does it matter?
By telling yourself something isn’t real, you’re short-changing yourself.
By deeming something as ‘not the real world’ it takes the experience away. It keeps you from fully relaxing into it. It dries up all the juice.
Give yourself permission to live all of your life as reality.
When you change things up and go to a better-feeling activity, you’re not ‘escaping’ anything. You’re creating better feeling moments. None is less real than the other.
Next time you go on vacation or have a great date-night planned, do what I do.
Smile as you say to yourself, “this is my reality.”
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