I’ve learned to appreciate all moments in life; yes, I know that sounds like a Hallmark card, but I actually mean it. Last month, my boyfriend bought me a dozen red roses for Valentine’s Day. He and I don’t typically celebrate Hallmark occasions until after the day because it rarely makes sense to either of us because we are generally too frugal to pay full retail price for anything. However, because I have been going through so much on the job and other things in life, he surprised me with these gorgeous roses and a huge box of candy on Valentine’s Day. Every time I passed by the roses, I closed my eyes and caught a whiff of their gentle, sweet smelling fragrance. I luxuriated in the beautiful, soft petals. I made certain to appreciate every moment of their life. Why? True gratitude and appreciation are two keys to peace and happiness.
With the loss of my job due to organizational restructuring and all the other challenges I am currently facing, it could be easy for me to have a negative outlook, be unhappy and full of panic. I am grateful to say that has not occurred! Of course, I am steadily seeking employment, but I am not frantic about it, even though my bank account is currently lacking more zeroes than I would prefer. I know that the next best thing for me is just around the corner and that keeps me both strong and motivated.
Last night, I found peace in washing my dishes by hand.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you have known me personally, you might be looking up a psychiatrist’s name for me right about now… To those who don’t know me personally, I am someone who has always required a house to have a dishwasher and could rarely be bothers to wash dishes by hand. That has changed. Why? Dishes are something that must be done continuously; now that I am down to one full time job of looking for a job, I make time to do the dishes because I don’t like the mess. I have slacked in my housekeeping with everything going on. But, my point is that everything we do, we have a choice of doing it with disdain or with gratitude. Which do you think is going to work better for you in the long-run? Right; it’s gratitude! What we think about is what we create in our lives. I have thought continuously about the beauty and peace in the world and because that is what I notice, that is what presents itself the most in my life.
It isn’t that I don’t see or am unaware of the world around me; I just choose not to invite negativity into my space. I used to agree with the cliche that ignorance is bliss. But, it is quite the contrary. The more knowledge I have, the more peaceful I feel. It all depends on the quality of the knowledge and that is always up to each of us to decide for ourselves.
I was talking to one of my closest friends (who is more of a family member than a friend) earlier in the evening. She mentioned that she is slowing down a lot and it takes her longer to do the daily, ‘mundane’ routines because she gets tired. She might be one of my wisest friends, but it is possible that she might have missed this one. In life and especially when you are retired, what’s the rush? Who decides what is mundane; don’t we? I expressed gratitude after cleaning the cat boxes the other night. Yes, I know that must sound crazy, but it is simple: I love my cats and I love it when their boxes are completely clean, so I have decided to appreciate the process.
Back to the previous statement though… What if the fact that we slow down as we age is an opportunity for us to appreciate some of the things that we have always taken for granted? It all comes back to perspective. Perhaps, the ability to be able to give yourself a shower, do your dishes, clean a cat box, etc. is a gift. I know that as I age, if I am able to take care of myself, I will be grateful. I know my friend is grateful too; regardless of the situation, one of the first things she says to me when I ask how she’s doing….”I am blessed.” There are some things in life I never get tired of hearing and that is one.
This week, I challenge you to find beauty and/ or peace in something that you would otherwise consider drudgery, mundane or distasteful. Please come back and tell me how this went for you!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read!