Well here it is, January 17th.
Can you believe we’re half way through January already? Me neither. If you’re like me, you’re thinking “Where did that time go?” It seemed like just yesterday I was planning my Christmas holidays and now—it’s over. This time of January is always the dreariest for me. The holidays are over, the weather is typically bad in this part of Pennsylvania and there isn’t another holiday in sight until Valentine’s Day. No hope—just snow and cold.
Isn’t it odd how we wish our lives away that way? When there aren’t any holidays in sight we long for the weekends, but they come and go so quickly that we’re soon longing for the next, and the next. When holidays are on the horizon, we wish they were closer. We make plans on how to spend the special day, we get ourselves all worked up with stress about how we’ll spend the day and with whom—creating that perfect joyous moment, only to be slightly disappointed when the moment comes and goes too quickly, or is not all that we hoped and dreamed it would be. Too soon, the moment is past and we’re looking ahead to the next special day, never learning how we can deal with it better and never living the moments in-between.
Are you aware that there are other days in-between holidays and weekends? I know—I’m shocked too. What do we do with those days—where do they go?
I’ll tell you—we flounder them away wishing on the next great holiday, great weekend or spectacular adventure that we’re trying to create.
I’ve been writing about finding the joy in the little things, finding joy in even the smallest moments of life—even if it isn’t a holiday, weekend or special occasion. I want to stop squandering my life away wishing on the next big thing and the next big holiday. I want, instead, to find the next big thing in the everyday, small moments of my life. It’s not easy. It’s really a bad habit to say “I can’t wait for the weekend!” Many of us do it, but it’s worth breaking out of that rut.
You want to know why?
Because when we stop wishing away our week for the weekend, we actually might enjoy the times in-between instead of wishing them all away and then wondering where did the time go.
For example: Today I went out to lunch, by myself, to a local restaurant. It’s typically not my favorite place, but it was warm, on a cold day, with decent food. It’s not my favorite place mainly because it’s frequented by older clientele and I feel out of place. However, today, I noticed that the older folks, who must go there frequently, had chemistry with the servers. The waitresses laughed, joked and called people by their names. It was like a family meal. Although I wasn’t included, being new to the scene, I felt the warmth of their exchanges. It made me smile.
But if I had just been thinking about the weekend, what I was going to do, what I was planning, how fun it would be—I would have missed the exchange. We spend so much time with our noses in our computers, our phones and our TVs, that we miss out on what’s going on around us. We miss out on the joy that’s happening right now.
Put down that phone! (I’m really yelling mostly at myself here people…)
Later, I sat by their fireplace in an overstuffed sofa, watching snow drift silently down outside. I was thankful for a place on my lunch hour to sit and rest and be warm. No thoughts of the upcoming weekend assailed my thoughts—I just sat peacefully and was thankful for the comfy seat and warm fire.
It gave me a moment to breathe—something I haven’t truly had since before the holidays began. And even though it was snowing outside—I thought it looked lovely. So pristine and beautiful—a real gift from God. (Even if, ten minutes later when I was driving in it, I didn’t feel the same.)
Take time today to be thankful for the moment you are in…take time to breathe it all in. Stop thinking ahead to the moments you want to create and find moments throughout every day that just happen. I think we will all find more peace in our lives if we do.
Sue Fairchild was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania where she now lives with her loving, supportive husband and their four legged, furry “kid”. Her blog, Sue’s Simples Snippets (www.suessimplesnippets.wordpress.com) is about searching for the bigger meaning, or even the small meaning, in the simple, and not so simple, moments in life. She has been published numerous times in the Christian devotional The Secret Place and just recently in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book “The Dating Game”.