Friday, June 27, 2014

What I've Learned from my Daughter

I am, by choice, a busy person. I enjoy finding productive things to do to fill my time. I bounce from one activity to the next, and often wish that I could go without sleep so that I could get even more done. The problem with this is that I push myself too hard, rarely taking time to relax, and that never ends well.

Now that I am on summer vacation, I've been able to spend quite a bit of time with Naomi, my 19-month old daughter. As I've observed her, I've noticed a few things:

1. She takes time to smell the flowers...literally. When we go for a walk or are in an area where there are flowers, she takes time to notice their color and fragrance. She often tells me what color they are and gives me an "mmmmm" to show that they smell good.

 2. She stops to notice the beauty of things around her. If there's water nearby, Naomi will want to stop, look, and listen. If there are puddles on the ground, she'll repeatedly jump and splash in them. She thoroughly enjoys life without worrying about what needs to be done next.

 3. When we sit down to eat, she takes her time to complete her meal. It may take her 45 minutes, but that is ok with her. She isn't in a hurry to move to the next thing , nor is she thinking about all that needs to get done. She truly enjoys her meal (especially if it's pizza or french fries). Sometimes she eats a little, gets down to play, and returns to her meal, but she never rushes when she eats.

I, on the other hand, am almost ways in a hurry. I zip from one thing to the next, packing my day with an impossible to-do list, rushing from one thing to the next trying to get it all done. I rarely take time to relish the moment or notice the beauty of things around me. When I am working on one thing, my mind is going fifty miles an hour, thinking of the other 2 or 3 or gazillion things I need/want to do.  I just want to finish one task so that I can move on to the next. This often leaves me stressed, overwhelmed, and disappointed that I didn't get more done.

Now that I've been spending a considerable amount of time with Naomi, I am challenging myself to slow down and smell the flowers. Will you join me in this challenge?