Thursday, May 1, 2014
Last week I briefly mentioned how I was doing a lot of feeling and reflecting. It's a common thing for me to feel thankful - for my husband, my life, our life. But lately, I've noticed how these feelings are much more acute - the way I really feel it, and how the feelings of thankfulness almost overwhelm me (in a good way, of course!). During past phases of life when things were particularly good, I don't remember being so overtaken by - or being so aware of - moments of gratitude. While I've always been thankful for life's blessings, it's almost as if I never wholly felt the emotions that came along with that level of gratitude.
So what's different this time - why am I suddenly so mindful of my blessings and those accompanying feelings of thankfulness? Is it the pregnancy hormones having their way with me, making all my emotions feel more extreme? Is it that maybe things really are better in our marriage and in my life than they've ever been? Maybe to an extent, both of those aspects are playing their part. But I think the real contributing force here is the stillness of my life right now. Never before have I been able to sit back and really breathe in a phase of life. Instead, I'd been too busy living through the various phases of life (or, most often, focusing on and reaching toward the next phase of life).
Right now, I'm not working and we don't have a booked-solid social calendar. What I've realized is that, until this point in my life, I've just been so busy. Even during our care-free road trip, our days were filled to the max and we lived in a constant state of being stimulated by new experiences. In large, this is the first time in my adult life that I've been able to be still - without busyness, the mental blockages of work responsibilities, or the desire to fill my calendar to the brim. Really, from the day I was old enough to work until now, life has been going at warp-speed and I don't think that in all those years I really had (or took) the time to truly reflect on and appreciate life. I was never still. I was going through life saying I was grateful and happy - sentiments I genuinely felt - but never giving myself the time to mindfully appreciate the true emotions associated with these feelings.
It's an uncommon opportunity that I have, to not be working while I wait for our babe's arrival. And while I worried that I would spend these months feeling inadequate or invalid for not working, instead I'm spending this time enjoying this life. I'm taking it all in. I'm taking this chance to really see the life I have and appreciate it. The outside noise that comes along with being busy has been hushed for these few months. The silence and this opportunity for reflection has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings of my life.
So while I know it's a gazillion times easier said than done, there's a lot to be said for lightening your load, clearing your calendar, and being able to mindfully enjoy life. Soon my priorities will shift and I won't have so much time to just be still, so I'm making sure to treasure this time while I have it. xx
P.S. I came across a TED talk and a NY Times article that are both of a similar topic, if you're interested. Also, I recently wrote a somewhat related post about our current slower pace of life.
iPhone photos are of recent happenings.