I am always noting how fast the days and years pass, but hadn’t realized how fast until this weekend. Halloween buzzed by and now Thanksgiving has said its farewell. The calendar turns another page and Christmas is suddenly everywhere – decorations, music, frantic shopping! Every year October, November and December fly by. I sabotage my ability to be mindful of each day with lists of things to do. I have to get the tree up and decorated so I can enjoy it all month. The Santas have to find homes on the tops of my curio cabinets, the nativity my mother beautifully crocheted needs a new home this year as the fireplace mantel is no longer available, garland needs to be strung, Christmas mugs need to be put into the cupboard temporarily replacing the ones I use the rest of the year, cookies need to be baked, and so on. I push myself to get this all done during the first week of December so that I have the full month to enjoy. My mind is so full of to do lists that I forget to be in the moment. That is what mindful means – being conscious, aware, alive, alert.
I believe I have sped through a good portion of my life, including raising my sons. Now at 65, I have trouble remembering those years because I was never mindful of what I was experiencing. On the occasion when I did slow down and be in the moment, the memories are crystal clear. I can recount sights, sounds, and smells as if I were experiencing the event for the first time. No wonder children grumble about wanting to grow up faster. Look at the example we set for them during their impressionable years. Older and hopefully wiser, I look at time now as a precious commodity not to be wasted.
I wish I had been more aware of being mindful as I grew up, to look at every inch of my surroundings, hear every sound, smell every scent so that I didn’t miss anything. I also wish I had taken the time to learn how to quiet my mind in meditation where to do lists and stresses of every day life could be set aside for a brief moment every day. I can’t turn back time, but I can strive to be in the moment experiencing the present, not longing for the past or worrying about the future. I will not let this holiday season fly by or run me over. I choose to be in every moment – alive and aware!
“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Spend time with yourself this holiday season. Fill your spirit with all that surrounds you as you celebrate. Slow down and experience the present.