Summer Voices | Courtney Carver | The Real Meaning Of Life

I'm on vacation this week and have invited some friends to share their voice here during my time away. Say hello to Courtney Carver:

Some say that life is a series of ups and downs.

For me that series would look something like this...

my first dog. a broken arm. prom. dropping out of college. falling in love. emergency c-section and the birth of a girl who changed my world. a traumatic marriage and tumultuous divorce. a degree in commercial design. landing a good job. knee surgeries. falling in love. a proposal for my daughter and me. an MS diagnosis. quitting my job to do work that matters.

All of those things happened to me, but none of them define me. They are the ups and downs, but they aren't the true essence of my life.

The highs and lows were events that happened. They may have even shaped the person I am today in someway, but the moments in the middle are what make my heart sing and ache. I relish those moments as each day unfolds. When I think of my moments in the middle, I remember watching Terms of Endearment with my sister when we were teens and crying so hard that the couch shook. I think about drinking cava with my husband on a quiet beach in Mexico. Making friends, writing stories, getting lost behind my camera and watching my daughter laugh until tears fall from her eyes are the moments that make my life rich.

my moments in the middle look like this...

road trips. afternoon coastlines. sleepy dogs. the perfect margarita. big hikes with majestic views.

Your life is not defined by jobs, degrees, or number of Facebook friends. The daily occurrences that thread together to create a lovely life are what it's all about. They are the memories that cross your mind and the stories you share.

When you stop trying to plan the future and fix the past, you can unravel from your fairly tales and heartbreaks. Instead of measuring yourself and your life by what you've accomplished, measure by the smiles and tears. Instead of worrying what is still left to do, make popsicles, revel in summer evenings, create something beautiful, make someone smile and get caught up in the moments in the middle.

What is your favorite moment in the middle?

Read more from Courtney at her blog, Be More with Less, follow her on twitter, and learn how to make time and space for more moments in the middle at Your Lovely Life.

27 thoughts

  1. Terri

    2012-07-26 07:59:13 -0400

    Thank you!!! Needed to read this today!!!

  2. Lori

    2012-07-26 08:35:20 -0400

    Ali - this was a great post. I went to her blog and bought her book! I hope you have had a really great time away.

  3. Jakki

    2012-07-26 09:12:52 -0400

    Ali...enjoy your vacation. EXCELLANT post...I immediately went to both blogs and fav'd them to come back to.

  4. Chris-Ellyn

    2012-07-26 09:28:17 -0400

    My favorite moment in the middle is when my almost-3-going-on-30 daughter, hugs my knee, then looks up at me as she pats my leg and tells me I'm her best friend.

  5. Cindy

    2012-07-26 09:31:06 -0400

    Thank you!!! Life has so many trails - - but the moments in between are definitely the best.

  6. Mel

    2012-07-26 09:44:58 -0400

    Wow- this was absolutely beautiful and I needed to hear this today. On a personal level, I often let myself get caught up in the 'highs and lows' and how I 'look' on paper.

    But you're right, it's the stuff in the middle that counts. Skyping with my sister and brother-in-law across the ocean, watching a beautiful sunset in a taxi, having a recipe turn out great. Those are the things I'd like to remember.

  7. Margaret

    2012-07-26 09:54:57 -0400

    Lovely evidence, and lovely perspectives. Will have to check out this site more!

  8. Maria

    2012-07-26 09:58:04 -0400

    Thank you. That brought tears to my eyes.

  9. Jen

    2012-07-26 10:25:09 -0400

    Perfectly said!! Ali you have awesome friends - thanks for sharing them with us!

  10. ARC

    2012-07-26 11:36:06 -0400

    This is awesome. I wrote in my blog last week about letting go of the "what's next" mentality, but love that you also mentioned letting go of bad things that happened in the past as well.

    My favorite moments in the middle are just sitting and really focusing on whatever crazy pretend game my 2yo is playing, or being in the middle of a crafty project and using scissors, glitter and tape without regard to what other people will think of the end project.

  11. JennE

    2012-07-26 11:39:08 -0400

    Beautiful and well said! I couldn't agree more. My favorite moments are my everyday, spending time with my friends and family. A margarita a sunset, the good times of laughing with my coworkers, a good book, appreciating the life I have been granted.

  12. Suzie Perrie

    2012-07-26 11:51:23 -0400

    Great guest today! I love her message.

  13. amberca

    2012-07-26 11:55:23 -0400

    Very inspiring for me today! The exact message I needed to hear this morning...thanks! My middle moments right now are, watching my girls grow into adults, vacations with family, spending time with amazing friends, making beautiful quits and scrapbooks, and iced coffees!!

  14. Myra

    2012-07-26 12:06:03 -0400

    This sentence just slayed me: When you stop trying to plan the future and fix the past, you can unravel from your fairy tales and heartbreaks.

    I thought I was living in the moment, but I'm clearly not 100% in it. Not when my head is in both the future and the past. Not that I don't want to make a clear financial plan for the future, but I'm seeing that forks in the road are already changing that future in small ways.

  15. Michelle M

    2012-07-26 12:07:03 -0400

    WOW! I loved reading this!

  16. Courtney Carver

    2012-07-26 12:11:40 -0400

    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments and Ali, thanks for letting me share this post with your thoughtful readers. xo

  17. judy

    2012-07-26 15:23:37 -0400

    wow. so choked up. really, really needed this today. thank you!

  18. Amy P.

    2012-07-26 15:30:43 -0400

    Really needed to hear this today! Thank you!!!

  19. Suz

    2012-07-27 00:12:34 -0400 Thank you for sharing!!!

  20. Sarah B r

    2012-07-27 01:50:09 -0400

    Dinner tonight with my husband and 2 year old daughter. She ate well, spinach salad and all, stayed clean, said please and thank you, told us stories. Lovely :-)

  21. Alida

    2012-07-27 05:04:03 -0400

    So true. My favourite everyday moments are reading in the evening to my sleepy boys, relaxing on the couch with my husband.And even just looking at him next to me while he's driving.

  22. Kimberlee

    2012-07-27 15:36:36 -0400

    Thank you for sharing. :)

  23. What’s Real Lately…(II) | Post Grad Mel

    2012-07-28 09:12:56 -0400

    [...] read a great post on Ali’s blog about relishing the moments of life in the middle. It really spoke to me. Here are some of the [...]

  24. Nathalie Hardy

    2012-07-29 00:57:06 -0400

    Amen, sister ... thanks Ali for introducing us to these lovely voices!

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    2012-08-12 11:19:03 -0400

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