Savor the Moment

Most of us have just enjoyed time with family and friends, gathered to give thanks and hopefully partook of a savory meal. Thanksgiving is my mom’s favorite holiday. She loves the togetherness of family without all the chaos that Christmas can sometimes bring. Aside from being with loved ones, another highlight of Thanksgiving is the anticipation of the meal. Can you remember the smell of the turkey or ham cooking? Or the look of the table arrangement and set up? Or the taste of dessert, that you were too full to eat but did anyway, (it’s Thanksgiving after all, those are the “rules”)? Think about all the different flavors and tastes, traditional recipes and perhaps some new ones. The sights of décor and sounds of people laughing, kids playing. If done right, it can be a wonderful experience, especially if we savor the moment. Appreciate the company, relish the food prepared, embrace the time to relax and refresh. Take it all in. SLOWLY.
This year more than previous years, I couldn’t wait to get to Thanksgiving. It was a symbol that my harried travel schedule had come to an end. I am happy to report I survived the unusually busy season October and November brought. I was committed to and intentional about, practicing what I preach. I paid attention and found ways to embed some self-care as I traversed North America, training others on self-care. I used my voice to say “No” to things that I thought would sap energy that I needed to reserve for later situations. I established boundaries and spoke my truth, all things I encourage others to do. I would frequently do some self check-ins to gauge how I was feeling, to connect with myself and determine what I needed at that time. Did I need to step away for a few minutes or could I continue to extend myself to others? It was a good feeling to be tuned into myself and my needs like that. I was able to come off of 6 busy weeks feeling tired but not frazzled. In fact, in some ways I was energized by the experiences I’d had, new people I met, validation that educator self-care is desperately needed and I’m on the right path, helping others in that way. I learned to let things go, like vacuuming and dusting (which still need to be done as I type this blog). I also got better at delegating, letting other people handle things that I didn’t necessarily need to be involved in (see previous blog, “Stay in Your Lane). Not only does this approach save me time and energy but it allows other people to learn, grow and take care of their own business. I only took on things that I knew I could manage. I improved my ability to stop and think, turning off default/auto-pilot mode and ascertaining and employing a self-preserving response. It’s empowering to find the balance between serving others while also serving yourself.
There were many occasions throughout the last 6 weeks I was able to savor the moment. Sitting quietly on a plane or in a cab en route to the airport or a few silent moments in my hotel room, reflecting after conducting a training or conference presentation. I really tried to notice those fleeting moments, capitalize on them and make the most of them. Closing my eyes and taking in breaths or noticing the sights and sounds of things happening around me. I am confident those opportunities are around us often, if we just take time to be in the present and enjoy them.
As we head into the last month of 2019, I find myself reflecting on all this year brought. As usual there were highs and lows. Some experiences I’m glad to leave in 2019 and then other moments and memories, I am excited to carry forward to 2020. It is easy to get caught up in the holiday season flurry, scheduling time to be with family and friends, traveling, holiday parties, shopping, cooking and gift exchanging. It can be over and done before we know it. A blur of love, laughter, red and green lights, eggnog and cheese balls. My hope is as we enter this typically harried time of year, we can find time to be with those we love and who love us, as well as, to be alone with ourselves. Make an effort to focus on what you need, take the time to regroup and rejuvenate as you prepare for all the New Year has in store. Savor those moments. You deserve it!

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