Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Big Picture

It is so easy to become caught up in thinking about the future to the point that we miss the present, the blessings right under our nose. Life is not a race. We will never re-live this moment right now. In the blink of an eye, time is gone and cannot be retrieved.

Today I was feeling very stressed out about some aspects of my life right now. It is easy to let those issues overwhelm and consume.  It seems that human nature has the tendency to focus more on the negative rather than the positive.

Then, I happened to see an obituary in the newspaper for a little baby that passed away recently, very unexpectedly. I do not know the family, but it still saddened me to read about it. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing a child. How devastated those parents must be! 

Reading that kind of brought things into perspective for me and opened my eyes again to how all of these momentary stresses and problems are really nothing in the long term. Someday when I look back on my life, I never want to regret that I did not "stop and smell the roses", as they say. I want to know that I savored the small, special, every day things that are essential in weaving life's tapestry together. You cannot really enjoy the final big picture if you don't enjoy the creation of it.

So, today I did not worry about if I accomplished my entire "to-do" list or not. I did not worry about cooking a fancy supper or getting every load of laundry done. I asked myself, "Is a 'good day' really measured by how much gets accomplished?!?".

Instead, I took time out to sit on the floor and actually play with my children. We went out and tasted snowflakes as they were coming down from the sky. We came inside and baked cookies. I wrote a card to mail to a friend I haven't seen in awhile. It was so nice to go at a slower pace and not feel like I was running a marathon.

Counting blessings and enjoying the present is a running theme on this blog. I keep writing about it because it is something that I am working on in my own daily life and it is such an important thing to remember. Between watching my good friend deal with her child fighting (and winning!) against cancer and others around me dealing with crises, I am continually reminded again and again how precious life is, how quickly it passes, what a true gift that it is.

Enjoy it, savor it, be thankful for what you have now, not what you do not have. Don't be so focused on the future that the present slips right by.

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