Monday, November 28, 2011
Savor the moment
November 28, 2011
At the end of October, I celebrated my 60th birthday. I've made many discoveries in my lifetime, but perhaps the most relevant is that the older I get, the more precious time becomes. When I was younger, I often wished time away.
"I can't wait until summer," I'd say, or "I wish it were the weekend."
These days, I try not to do that. I've come to realize how precious and limited time is, so I try to savor the moment. Not only do I take time, I consciously make time to treasure everyday pleasures.
It's the little things that make my heart sing. When I wake up and see the morning mist on the lake, I smile. I consider the amber light that precedes dusk a gift. When I smell a flower, pick a bouquet or watch the erratic flight of a dragonfly, I'm enjoying nature, souvenirs of life that are always there if I only make an effort to look at them and see.
Not a day goes by without multiple reasons to be thankful. The very act of waking up is a gift in itself. When I'm feeling bad — if I'm sick or upset, weary or depressed — I try to consider how much worse things could be. I'm thankful for the good times. I'm grateful for a world filled with marvel and wonder, for the love and caring of family and friends.
My husband, children and grandchildren provide endless sources of bliss. Ralph's kindnesses and little gestures — the breakfast he prepares for us each morning, the way he runs his fingers through my hair when we're watching TV, his eagerness to spend time with me, his patience and consideration — make me feel loved and appreciated.
Some people think money and material items are important, but my fortune is in having such a caring partner. My husband and I share that richness by passing it along to future generations.
This past week centered on family. All four of our offspring were here, including my two daughters, who have children of their own. As I watched Amber with her 2-year-old son and Jenny with her 3-month-old twins, I was awed not only by the passage of time but also by the layers of love that exist in a family. Seeing your own children grow up is remarkable in itself, but even more amazing is watching the babies you once held in your own arms mirror that love to a new generation.
Sixty years is the equivalent of 21,900 days, and while 21,900 is a large number, I don't think it could ever be big enough to waste even one of those days on wishes of tomorrow. The present is a gift that's precious and special. Being present — being aware of what's happening in the moment — is perhaps the most valuable gift of all.