Have you ever had a thought that just kept bubbling up inside of you? Almost an idea that you just can't stop thinking about? I have had that for almost a week now, and in light of recent events, I am going to try my hardest to put that thought in to words. In the last 24 hours I have heard or read of so much loss and sadness. The horrific attacks in Paris. The sudden passing of a co-worker of mine (he left behind a wife, beautiful young children, and countless friends). A wife, mom, and grandma dealing with her third round of cancer that just won't relent on her. A brain tumor in a young client of mine with one baby and one on the way. A wife and mother killed in a home invasion. A sweet family losing their grandfather after his car broke down and he was accidentally hit by another vehicle. A young couple having to deliver a still born child. Even another family learning the news that their beloved dad and grandpa has an aggressive form of cancer. MY. HEART. HURTS. I can't even fathom the sadness, pain and tears that just these events have brought and will continue to bring for the days, weeks, and months to come. I am reminded again that life truly is short...we are never promised tomorrow.
Because of these reminders, I want to try to get my thoughts out as a challenge; maybe even just a challenge for me.
If I was giving a pep talk to myslef right now I would say "slow down...breathe in deeply...listen...watch...enjoy...be present". To put it in an even simpler way, I would tell myself to "linger". The definition of the word linger is, "to stay in place longer than necessary, typically because of a relluctance to leave" and "to remain alive; continue to persist although gradually dying". I love these definitions because they perfectly describe what my heart wants to scream right now. More than ever I find myself saying "I'll do that when...", "let me just finish...", or "give me just a few days then we can...". Believe me, I am so aware of resposibilites, duties, and priorities. I know that we all wear so many different "hats" in our day to day lives. We are spouses, students, parents, employees, volunteers, coaches, sons/daughters, brothers/sisters, cleaners, organizers, planners, and so much more. Our lives get busier and busier. Sometimes they are busy with wonderful and lovely things, but sometimes, even the lovely things fly past us before we even realize their beauty. I want to take time to linger in just a few moments every day. I can't promise that my resposibilities will ever decrease, or that my time will somehow multiply, but I can at least try to enjoy a few more moments in every day.
Last night our family put up our Christmas tree. I have to be honest...normally the family decorates the Christmas tree, and when everyone goes to bed...I go back and "fix" it so it looks well put together. This year, I stood back and looked at our tree and tears started to fill my eyes. The ornaments were not hung perfectly or spaced out correctly. The angel topper was crooked. The ribbon wrapped around the tree was not even. There were some empty spaces where ornaments could still go. But you know what? It. Was. Perfect. For the first time in years...I didn't change a thing. It was filled with memories of handmade gifts, and annual trips to pick out our special ornaments. It was full of life and sparkle, and for once...I took a step back to just linger in the moment of a beautiful memory being made. It wasn't a long moment...but it was a moment that I rarely take. And you know what? It caused a few more moments to happen. I hugged my little girl a few minutes longer when I tucked her in. I listened to Ty talk about his science project without reminding him that he needed to "go to bed soon". I even held my husbands hand as he fell asleep. Truly, all of those things probably took a total of 15 minutes "extra" in my day. I didn't have to rearrange my entire schedule and they didn't make me late for an appointment. They just took a thought to linger for a few minutes longer in each situation that I was in.
My Dad passed away in August very unexpectedly, and I would give pretty much anything to be able to get one more big bear hug from him. I still smell his shirt at least a few times a week just to remember his smell...even though I know it is etched in to my memory and heart...but I just want to make sure that I don't forget. I close my eyes and remember taking moments with him to just sit and talk...he was great at that. He probably hated the fact that his life wasn't as fast paced as it used to be...but he taught me to just "sit and be" sometimes. And, somehow...I have forgotten that. In the business and the "doing" of life...I forget to linger every now and then. I almost don't even realize how wonderful my life truly is. I get so caught up in the day to day that I forget how amazingly blessed I am. I want to re-train myself to take even just a few moments everyday to just breathe in life and linger in the beauty of it.
It is my hope that at least a few times a week I will...
- Snuggle my babes for just a few extra minutes
- Take time to look at a sunset and breathe in the beaty of it
- Hold my husbands hand as we fall asleep
- Call a friend just to tell them that I love them
- Sit in front of my Christmas tree and just feel the glow from the lights
- Look into my husbands and eyes and tell him that I love him...for no particular reason...just because I do
- Look up at the stars and just be so impressed at how they twinkle
- Read something intriguing or encouraging
- Breathe in a few deep breaths of pure thankfulness for the life I have been given
- Take a few minutes every day to just linger in any situation I am in
None of these will take longer than a few minutes, but I feel like if I can add all of them up in a week...I will look back and realize that I took some special moments and I made them in to memories. The beauty of memories...is that you can always take them with you. They become a part of you...you can't lose them.
We aren't promised tomorrow, but we have today. I am excited that I still have the opportunity to linger and I want to make the most of those few moments every day.