Anxiety about schedules and money and deadlines and important dates and having enough food in the house and clean clothes in the drawers often prevents me from experiencing the moment.
I try to meditate, exercise (although that is one of the first things that gets neglected when things get busy), find things to do that I enjoy to keep myself from getting down, and daily I count my blessings for all I am so fortunate to have in my life!
When I am successful in slowing down for a few moments, I find that I'm able to find wonder and beauty in the most common occurrences: the chirping of the birds, the chattering of the squirrels, the grasshopper that crosses my path and camouflages itself amongst the tree branches, the flower buds ready to burst open,
the little butterfly that is in no hurry to get anywhere, the man walking his cat on a leash in the park (okay, that is not as common!), the mother pulling her toddler around in a wagon, the man taking a lunchtime nap in the cool grass and warm sun, the dog in the adjoining yard that keeps jumping up to say hello a fellow canine over the wall...
There are books galore written for people who want to simplify their lives---I've got a few of them myself. And many have valuable insights and suggestions.
But in this era of information and technology, I spend so much time on the computer doing everything from connecting with friends and networking with business acquaintances, to learning how to improve my business,
to researching where our next family outing might be, to blogging and updating my shops, to checking out the blogs of others, reading this, reading that...ENOUGH already with the DOING!!! I need to BE sometimes!
Just BE. We only have NOW. That's the only thing we have for sure at any given moment.
The photos accompanying this post were taken this past weekend when my family took a day to BE in Carrizo Plains National Monument. It was exactly what I/we needed to remember that we already have the most important things in life: each other, our health, and an abundance of beauty in our own backyard.
So, my hope for all of us is that we make the time when things get crazy to look around at the world around us and enjoy the simplicity of the moment, soak it up, breathe deeply, smile, and realize that much of what is making us feel like a hamster on a wheel is not really that important in the big picture.
Our relationships, our health, our well-being...well, they ARE.