First off today is a Friday so it automatically gets a higher boost of why I love it over other work days. I try really hard not to wish my days away but sometimes the appeal of a Friday end of work day and 48 hours of focusing on other things is exciting. It’s not that I usually do more than some errands, catch up on housework and perhaps sneak in a nap on Sundays but it’s still my time.
This post however isn’t about Fridays. It’s about today. It’s about this very moment in time when I’m realizing what today is all about. See when you truly start living more naturally you realize that today is every day but it’s not ordinary at all. Today is when I see the graceful sun rise bringing pinks and yellows across my light blue office walls. On most days I will stop writing for a few minutes and turn to watch it rise some. I let it receive my well wishes for the day and let it send me warm rays. Today is the day when I’ll see the emergence of spring start to poke through my flower beds in the yard as things start to awaken slightly from their winter slumber. Today is when I will hug my son on his way out the door for school being a little taller, older and smarter than he was just yesterday. Today is now and it’s never the same even when it feels like a repeat of prior days.
Every day holds a certain amount of routine, habit and ritual. We go through the motions of our daily lives often not accounting for how much time is passing through these simple tasks. There’s truly nothing remarkable about our daily routines but they are necessary, like brushing out teeth or picking out what to wear. However, what if we went through our daily routines totally focused on everything we are doing as we’re doing them. This fresh awareness of our actions and attention to details. Would there be things that surprise us or would it feel like comfortable old slippers we enjoy wrapping our feet in during winter days? Would we notice how much time we spend doing things we often don’t think about at all?
I have been giving this whole mindfulness approach a lot of trying out lately and when I applied it to my daily routines I was amazed! So here I am brushing my teeth in the morning and realizing my teeth actually feel pretty great afterwards. Hey I really like the taste of the all-natural toothpaste I’m using and when did I start grinding my teeth so much? I gave my full attention to the simple act of brushing my teeth and realized there was a whole bunch of things I simply never paid attention to in a while.
So often we are multi-tasking or not paying attention to the task at hand preferring instead to be on our phones or just checking out from the mundanes of the activity. When we do this however we are completely missing out on some of the best essence of our days! Oh sure that staff meeting at work is a complete waste of time and you dread it but what if at the next one you listened so intently to all the conversations you learned a great new opportunity you hadn’t realized was there? What if you listened to your child’s tale of how their school day went and came up with a crazy story with them about how the cafeteria turned into a zoo during lunch? What if we gave all our attention to just one thing and one person at a time? How much of our life have we been missing out on when we try to do more than that?
Doing one thing at a time can seem like we are putting ourselves at a disadvantage with deadlines, errands and other demands but truly we are not. We may not get everything done indeed but perhaps this is a lesson that we are doing too much? When we are actively engaging with another person we may miss an incoming text that needs our attention but how much more connected and deeper is our relationship with the person we’re talking to right now as a result? We have to stop doing everything at once and start doing one thing that matters. We have to realize we are multi-tasking our lives to the extreme and forgetting how to live in the moment. We are foregoing our relationships, quality of work and attention to detail in all things in our life because we’re checking out on the stuff we think doesn’t matter. Yet it all matters and it matters deeply to our health, well-being, relationships and love.
What I am proposing is we slow down and enjoy the pace of life more. Take the time to enjoy the process of brushing our teeth and engaging with our kids in fun chatter. Stop multi-tasking in our relationships and health needs like they are errands and chores with deadlines. That can be intimidating and it will feel awkward at first but how rewarding it all is when we realize the beauty in every day, including today. When else are you going to get a chance to talk about dinosaurs with your child? Trust me one day soon will come when they won’t want to hang out with you so much and your chance to talk to them will be as extinct as dinosaurs. Stop. Enjoy. Breathe. Focus on one thing at a time. Reduce the time that phone is in your hand and what you’re doing on it minute by minute and spend that new minute seeing what is around you.
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