It’s so easy to get caught up in our day, isn’t it? Everyone’s busy. We rush from here to there, and back again if you have kids. Who has time to slow down?
In truth, we all do. Everyone gets 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us to spend them wisely. When my mom was in hospice at the end of her life, I read some interesting comments from a hospice nurse. Most of her end-of-life patients regretted the things they didn’t do. I try to remember that.
Yesterday, though I had plenty to do, I consciously slowed down. I attend a fitness camp three morning a week at a local middle school. We complete our drills in the interior quad, working hard for 50 minutes. Then we all race to our cars and continue on with our hectic days. I took a moment to return back to the quad, to admire and photograph this beautiful rose.
After driving my older son to school, I lurked in the parking lot till the coast was clear, then walked around to the front of the school and snapped a few shots. They have a lovely garden just outside the office, with bright red geraniums, bushy ferns and a stand of magnificent trees. I never noticed the trees before yesterday. One of the small benefits of slowing down.
On my drive home, I pulled over to admire the sunflowers growing a few blocks over. Kelly at Boomdeeada suggested I scout the neighborhood for similar flowers, since I seem to be growing a variety I didn’t plant. She might be on to something! It was a good excuse to finally get out of the car and see them up close.
Down the block, our neighbor Robert plants a colorful selection of annuals along the border of his white picket fence. He suffered a stroke a few years ago, and had a long trip back to wellness. I enjoy driving by his house and seeing his flowers in bloom. If he’s sunning himself in the driveway, I’ll wave. I realize as I write this that he has no idea how much I enjoy those flowers. I plan to share that with him today.
My own welcoming committee is a pleasure to behold: a wall of sunflowers just outside the kitchen window, and my recently planted fairy garden. The purples and yellows are vibrant and fresh, as if to say “summer will never end.” Sure, I know better, but I still enjoy the charade.
Wednesday is early out day in our school district so the boys return home in the early afternoon. My last stop was Office Max, for yet another round of school supplies. They have enormous clay pots planted in front of the store, brimming with colorful flowers. It’s challenging taking photographs under the mid day sun, but I still enjoyed the view. I appreciate strip malls that make the effort to bring beautiful gardens to an otherwise drab exterior.
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet
Guess what? I still accomplished what I planned for the day, climbed out from under a writers slump, made phone calls, booked a client and nurtured my husband, two boys and four cats.
I encourage you to take five minutes for yourself today. Look at something familiar with beginners eyes. Taste. Smell. Marvel. Rather than imagining you are the center of the universe, try to be centered in the universe. You’ll be a happier person for it.