What is it that makes up the minutes, hours, days, and weeks of our lives? Is it the ordinary or extraordinary moments that count? Or is it neither the ordinary or extraordinary moments that count, but the sensations, the emotions, the awareness, and the mindfulness of those moments that counts?
For many of us, the majority of our time is spent doing seemingly ordinary – and often tedious – chores, tasks, and jobs. The hours that make up our lives are comprised of data reports, spreadsheets, demanding clients, cranky bosses, and frustrating phone calls. The hours are filled by cleaning sticky hands, calming bickering kids, carpooling, preparing meals, cleaning up after meals, folding laundry, and reminding our kids for the umpteenth time to put their shoes on or they will be late for school.
But it is not what we are doing that matters. It is how we do it that makes all the difference. Do we bring a mindfulness to the monotony? Or do we go through the motions on autopilot?
I believe that it is not the acts and actions that make up the hours of our life that count. It is how we notice, perceive, and appreciate those hours that counts. Are we mindfully aware of what we are doing and what is going on around us? Are we submerging the sponge of time deeply enough so that we can squeeze out every last watery moment? Or are we just skimming the top of the water – bored with the monotony, afraid to get hurt, or scared to take a risk – and never really soaking in all that the hours of our life has to offer?
I am incredibly thankful for this week’s Monday Listicles topic that was offered by Stacey at Mothering Moments. She has a new link-up called An Hour in a Day so the chosen topic was (what else?!?) 10 Things that Happen in One Hour. Her topic inspired a mindfulness in me throughout the past week that I ordinarily do not experience. My week was, as usual, filled with the ordinary – dishes, laundry, emails, squabbling kids, writing jobs, and grocery shopping– but it was also filled with the extraordinary – an afternoon matinee with my son, a family wedding, a spur-of-the-moment get together with friends, and interesting conversations with my husband that had nothing to do with bills, kids or jobs. By noticing, appreciating, and soaking up the life in all of those hours, each and every one of them became truly extraordinary.
10 Things That Happened Between 5:30 and 6:30 on Saturday Night
- The guests gather at the hillside atop the beach, dressed in khakis and bright turquoise dresses, greeting each other with hugs and “how have you been’s.”
- I fill my plastic cup with an amber-colored rum punch and take a sip.
- I find a seat between my uncle and sister-in-law and we quietly make small talk.
- A warm breeze blows in off the ocean drying the beads of sweat that were collecting along my hairline thanks to the humid Florida weather.
- The groom walks in with his son, both looking casually dapper.
- The parents of the couple walk in with a quiet confidence and satisfaction that their children have found happiness in each other.
- The bride walks in on the arm of her son, who has a Huck Finn mischievousness air about him that complements the bride’s calm elegance.
- I feel a pang of longing and wish that my husband were here with me.
- Following the minister’s introductory words, the bride and groom exchange honest and realistic promises for their future and exchange their vows.
- We all dab at our eyes, exuberantly clap our hands, and rejoice that – once again – love has prevailed.
Congratulations, Rick and Chauntelle!