On any given day, I feel like I am running on life’s treadmill. My ToDo list keeps growing, and even though I’ve been busy all day, it feels like I don’t have nearly enough (if anything) to show for it. And I fear that if I break stride, I could end up like George Jetson when Astro decided to chase the cat. (For you youngsters who don’t get that reference, click here.) Our culture encourages busy, busy—and if you’re not busy, you’re lazy.
It’s a tough mindset to break. But it’s a mentality that can leave you running through your days with blinders on only to get to the next day and do it all over again.
The other night, I literally felt a force that stopped me from my spinning and made me catch my breath. I’m not kidding. I was preparing dinner alone in the kitchen, and suddenly it felt as though someone grabbed my shoulders and whispered, “Stop. Take a moment. Be right here.”
And I listened to the voice, stopped chopping my veggies, and just paused, taking inventory of the moment.
I heard my son playing piano downstairs. I cannot fully express how it lifts my heart when I hear him play.
I knew my husband was out working in the yard, which he loves doing. That made me smile.
I felt the breeze waft in through the window…it was light and fresh and gently washed over me. The day had been a gray, rainy one, but by evening, the sun was out and shining through the trees. That kind of shimmering, dappled light always manages to fill my soul a little.
I picked up my glass of wine that I like to have as a dinner-prep companion, and took a sip. Always appreciated.
The dinner I was making was a special treat, and it was going to make my guys very happy, which, of course, makes me happy.
I was…right there…feeling it all…and in that moment, my blessings registered fully.
Even though big stressors existed—looming large as they too often do—I couldn’t miss that moment. It was as though my mystery “visitor” wanted to make sure of it, whispering, “Are you getting this? Do you see?”
And I did.
And in taking that breath and recognizing the beauty around me, I could feel a little bit of joy flow right into me.
I can’t wait for the stressors to resolve. After all, even if they do get worked through, there are always more to step up and fill the void. My “once this, then that” mentality can cause me to miss too much that is all around me. There will always be another hurdle to jump. Always.
THIS is it. There is no end game. Only moments along the way. And if we don’t stop and breathe them in, they are gone. Never to be felt again. At least not that moment. And who knows how many moments we have?
If you are like me, this is an ongoing struggle. There is much to do. You can’t simply ignore responsibilities and go joyriding.
But it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition, is it?
Moments don’t steal days. Days steal moments.
For me, on that night, I finished making dinner, and regular evening routines occurred. My moment didn’t interfere with my work, but it did change it. It filled me in a way that carried over into dinner—where, even while reminding my son not to shove so much food into his mouth, I remembered that those very fingers were the ones that made such beautiful music a little while ago.
Don’t miss the moments.
Take a break from the treadmill.
I know my mystery visitor was a rare, special occurrence and won’t be around to whisper reminders in my ear (though it was super cool, so I would really kind of love it if she did). Ultimately, it’s up to me. And you. We must actively seek to pepper our days with little snippets that bring joy…that will—just like real pepper—add a little zest to our lives.
Don’t miss the moments. Seek them. Relish them. Cherish them. Breathe them in so that they fill your lungs with joy and appreciation. Get addicted to them. Crave them.
And then find them.