by Amanda Cleary Eastep
I may have to dub this a “glorious weekend.”
Between the weather, hours (!) to write, lots of digging in the dirt, and hiking planned for the last day of a four-day weekend…well, just…*heavy sigh of satisfaction.*
Last night at church–which we moved outside among the trees–Pastor Chuck asked us to take a moment to look at the people around us, to be especially cognizant of “now.”
“This is your life.”
Funny he should mention that, because I’ve been thinking the same thing. I may have even said it aloud to myself in the last week.
Hey, Amanda. THIS is your life. Stop living for the weekend or the year you finally buy that house in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
At 47, why rush through it? Why not enjoy the life in each day?
How can we raise our awareness of life’s moments? Here are 5 simple ways…
1. Chew your food more slowly. Remember your mom telling you this? Maybe she was preempting a tummy ache or choking incident, but the true wisdom lies in the fact that food should be enjoyed, not inhaled. I still remember a fiction writing class in college where a student described the way a piece of chocolate tasted and felt on her tongue. It sounded almost dirty. But, yeah, eat like that…
2. Pray before your feet hit the floor in the morning. Before coffee, before dressing for work. Lie quietly and say, “God, don’t just help me get through the day. Help me live it. Help me add value to someone else’s living. Help me enjoy my morning oatmeal like it’s the best
sex oatmeal I’ve ever had.
3. Don’t fill your quiet time with Facebook. I’ve started putting the phone down when I’m sitting in the living room with my family. It’s the LIVING room. We actually have designated rooms for that.
4. Listen. In the grocery store yesterday, a young boy was pushing a cart around and whistling some made up tune. I thought to stop and tell him what a great whistler he was, but I just kept shopping. But an elderly woman halted her cart, leaned over, and said, “My, you are such a wonderful whistler, who taught you to whistle?” His father, he answered, and the conversation continued as I celebrated that someone wiser seized my missed opportunity to listen and to make a child feel proud of himself.
5. Breathe. Yes, it’s true our bodies do this automatically, but have you ever caught yourself holding your breath when you’re stressed? I’ve nearly passed out. Only my over-active teeth grinding kept me alert. Take a deep breath. It’s kind of irritating because it forces you to slow down, but it also gets more oxygen to your brain and leaves you a bit giddy.
So in between all the busy-ness this holiday weekend, take time to slow down, pray, listen, and breathe.