I was standing in our backyard at 6 a.m. on a misty Thursday morning (my six-month-old puppy had to pee) when my neighbour stepped out onto his deck, took in an exuberant breath of the dewy air, and enthusiastically wished us a good morning. The way he welcomed the day radiated appreciation for life, and it inspired me to deepen my own relationship with time.
As my pup and I moseyed around the damp grass for a few minutes, I started thinking about how important it is to relish every moment – to greet each day and the experiences it holds with gusto, just like my neighbour had displayed.
Too often we forget about being intentional with our time. Success, accomplishment, and daily obligations can consume our thoughts more than they should. Setting aside time on a regular basis to evaluate what truly makes us happy and fulfilled is well worth the effort. Once we understand what makes us happy, we can set aside more time to do those things. Because when it comes down to it, how we spend our time is more important than anything.
I’ve realized there are certain actions and commitments (and even people!) that fill a person up, and there are ones that take away. It is essential to distinguish the elective life experiences that provide us with energy and fulfillment from the ones that drain, overwhelm, and cause us to retreat. After all, an empty water pitcher cannot fill up another cup without visiting the tap first.
For as long as I can remember, I have been observant of the sentiment and intention of others to an uncomfortable level. It is because of this particular trait (sensitivity, I think) that I spent many years paying too close attention to the reactions of others, caring too much of what others would think. I spent a lot of time doing what I thought was expected of me – by society, by employers, by whomever. Sometimes I still catch myself doing this now, but I am quick to shake myself free from this leash of subservience. I’ve realized I’d rather spend my time just being me.
Each one of us deserves to take time for ourselves, to reconnect with the things that really matter, and to sit in gratitude. A true appreciation of the time we are given encompasses respecting even the smallest of moments.
So now I live in each moment. I let myself “dance” in Home Depot and I write and I hug my dog and I attempt to lift heavy things and I carry around my cat like a cat lady and I meditate and I smile as my boyfriend serenades me while we drive and I pray and I watch adoringly as loved ones embrace each other at the airport and I make jokes at the expense of myself and I dare to be beautiful and I laugh and I cry and I feel… and I am fulfilled.
And as I walked back inside our home on that misty Thursday morning, I felt incredibly thankful for the unexpected interaction with my zealous neighbour. Through that short experience, I was reminded of how important it is to spend my time purposefully – to live a life of intention.
My hope here is simple: I hope that you will spend your time with intention too.