April 25, 2021

CJ Masciantonio

Mind of Mash: Find Meaning in Each Day


We have brighter days ahead compared to one year ago. As people across the world are slowly coming back to the everyday routines once hindered by the pandemic, we are realizing how much we have taken little things for granted in the past.

Normal outings—such as going to the movies, attending concerts, and dining out—seem like luxuries now. It’s sad to know how crippled the entertainment, music, and restaurant industries have become since the virus hit. COVID-19 slapped civilization hard with the reality of how things can change, whether you’re ready or not, in an instant.

With that said, I’ve learned to appreciate every day—the good and the bad. I’ve realized how vulnerable we are as humans. One moment, things can be going so right. And then the next, they can take a turn and go so wrong. The pandemic still has many people cooped up and feeling trapped in a redundant cycle of blandness that can be tough to combat.

I empathize; when my job was put on hold for the foreseeable future, I was at a loss for what to do next. My days felt long and recycled. I felt that my purpose was pulled away from me. It was a difficult reality to process. At that point, I just wanted to press the fast-forward button and skip to a future time when my life resumed its normalcy. Unfortunately, no such button or simple solution exists.

Time for Change

The stillness of time made me occasionally think about the bigger picture. Finally, enough was enough. I realized that dwelling on what my life had become wasn’t serving me well. There’s no contentment in being miserable. And there’s no reason to accept that feeling when I have the ability to change it.

I believe everyone has the capacity within them to change their mindset. However, I know it’s challenging to recognize that ability when we fall on hard times.

During my time at home, I kept thinking about things I wanted to pursue but put off because of time restraints with work or general disinterest. I don’t mean disinterest in the sense of not wanting to pursue those things but rather not cultivating the motivation to move forward. Plenty of downtime allowed me to regain perspective and catch a second wind of life.

I learned to approach each day as a new opportunity to grow. While each day consisted of routine activities, I embraced them as ways to discover and experiment.

A Few of My Discoveries

I started by cooking breakfast more often and trying different meals. The same went for lunch and dinner. That alone gave my life some new excitement and something fresh to look forward to every day.

If I felt like I had to get out of the house, I took my dog for a walk around the neighborhood, occasionally bringing my camera to capture scenic moments. Before I knew it, I had my camera with me almost everywhere I went. This led to a heavier involvement in graphic design, photography, and video work. I began growing my skillset without even consciously trying to do so.

I began writing music more often in my downtime, which allowed me to connect more fully with how I was feeling and gain clarity. This was incredibly therapeutic and created healthy coping habits as I processed what was happening to the world around me. It’s far too easy to get worked up about the news about current events and social media drama. Having something constructive and creative to keep my brain at ease has helped me get past that. Music is always my go-to for gaining perspective and peace.

Also, I began to learn more about gardening and landscaping. I did a lot of it around the house and discovered it, too, is a fun, creative outlet. Manual labor is a great way to keep your body active and in tune, which helps improve mental health. Sunshine and sweat do the mind and body good!

So, What’s the Takeaway?

We are always in control of our lives—even when we can’t control the world around us.

Finding the courage to start over can provide new meaning to your days ahead. Having purpose in each day will help motivate you to push onward.

If you don’t know where to start, try taking some time to think about what makes you feel fulfilled. Sitting down with a pen and paper to write out your thoughts might give you the clarity you need to make positive changes. I believe you’ll be surprised by just how much there is to discover when you jumpstart your life!

Your Turn! What changes and discoveries might help you find meaning in each and every day?

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