Savor the Moment

Hi there! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. My holiday was joyful, slightly stressful, kind of relaxing, mildly active, and over too quickly. This description seems to fit a lot of my days lately, and I’m not sure I like it! I try my best each day to enjoy every moment, to savor tastes and experiences, to remember the details of things, the feel of loved ones’ hands and hugs, and my soul’s ebb and flow as these gathered pieces are documented inside my memory. I never know when I’m going to need these pieces again, but I continue to gather them and store them within reach. I’m a noticer of things and a writer. Often these identities are interchangeable. However, you don’t have to be a “writer” to be a noticer. You just have to pay attention.

Life moves so quickly, and as a productive member of society, you are expected to accomplish a ton of things—make a living, feed your family, pay your bills, maintain your relationships as well as your Facebook status, get enough exercise and adequate sleep, and—oh, nurture your inner life. Sometimes I get so busy with the grind of daily life that I look back at the week and I can’t even remember what happened! The very worst part is that I’ll be trying to survive day by day, thinking that I need to check in with my friends and see how so-and-so is doing, and suddenly there’s NEWS. A close friend is suddenly pregnant . . . or getting a divorce . . . or has just lost a parent . . . or is finally getting married. And I didn’t even notice. I feel like I’ve missed an important piece of their life, and I have! I try to avoid this terrible fix by slowing down and paying attention, checking in with my peeps and scanning their horizons for situations that I should be attentive to. This always involves stepping away from my life and breathing in air less manic than my own. One of my very favorite ways to gain some perspective is to crack open my well-loved copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

I discovered this book when I was in college, and I fell immediately in love with the whole thing. First of all, it’s a pink book, for goodness sake—who wouldn’t love that? But the inside really got me. It’s organized into daily entries, each beginning with a quotation. And if you haven’t noticed yet, I love quotations. The book celebrates the sublime magic found in everyday life by encouraging the reader to notice even the smallest moments in her surroundings. It introduced me to the concept of a gratitude journal and invited me to write down five things I was grateful for each day. It gave me small doses of its message to savor the world and inspired my creativity. It’s no coincidence that this time in my life was happy, full of possibilities, with a gleam around the edges. I realized that by my noticing small wonders, time seemed to slow down and my friendships glowed.

So, when you find yourself getting super busy and start to wonder where the time has gone, be aware that you may be missing some monumental moments in your or your friends’ lives. If this bothers you, I hope you will stop and breathe deeply. Gaze around you and drink in the view. Be thankful for your blessings and the fact that you have this day to do just that.

XO, Brooke

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