Friday, January 12, 2018

Two Ways to Better Enjoy Today

It's Friday.  I love Kate's description of Five Minute Friday....

We take a deep breath and bravely post our five-minute scribblings for others to read.
It’s really not about the quality — it’s about showing up. It’s about sitting down, setting the timer, and doing the work. It’s about the discipline and the practice of letting the words flow. It’s about releasing fears and embracing imperfection. And we do it together.
For me, it is definitely about embracing imperfection and simply doing the writing.  I am an over-thinker.  I over analyze and over-critique.  It's actually one reason I am late "showing up" this week.  After I read the prompt - SIMPLIFY - there were so many ways I wanted to apply this to my life and ways to approach this post.  I was completely over-thinking it.  Totally counter-productive to Five Minute Friday.  So,without further ado...some of my rambling thoughts on SIMPLIFY.
GO - To simplify is to clarify.  To make plain or easy to understand. And, for me, easier to appreciate.  In order to best appreciate and enjoy this life I have been blessed with is to keep it uncomplicated.  Often it is my own thoughts, and thought processes, that way over complicate life for me.  That snare of over-thinking and, especially, over-critiquing traps me way more often than I care to admit.
One way to avoid this is "to live in the moment" - which is not to be confused with "live for the moment" or an "eat, drink and live for today" mentality that I think is contrary to Bible teaching.  To live in the moment, I believe, requires two things.  Forgetting the past and refusing to constantly look toward and wait for the future.
The days gone past have their share of regret, disappointments (even shame) but, as well, hard to forget victories, hopes fulfilled and a multitude of sweet moments.  If I use the past as a lens to view today's choices and activities, I not only miss opportunities but, undoubtedly, miss many of the joys that could be mine right now.  Simplifying, for me, includes letting go of the past.  Yes, I enjoy the memories but I am not living in the memory but living today in order to create even more memories.
On the other side, comparing today's moments with my perception of tomorrow can also rob me of today's blessings.  It may be something as simple as the weather.  The temperatures today were unseasonably warm and extra delightful after our bitter cold snap.  I heard a statement similar to "it is so beautiful today....what a bummer that it is going to be lousy again tomorrow!" more than a few times today.  I may have even thought it myself:(  Why not simply enjoy today?!  
Similarly, I often fail to enjoy the beauty of the day, the time, the phase I am currently living because I am convinced tomorrow will be the better time to pursue a dream, make a bold choice or any number of things.  I am way too guilty of this.  Simplifying - or removing all the extra that over-complicates and squeezes out the joy - also includes a proper focus on tomorrow.  I want to savor all that today offers.
STOP - I must say that this post was not written in just five minutes.  I was just beginning to write when my husband invited me to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch.  Something we usually do in the warmer months.  What a treat!  Pausing to stop and enjoy a simple pleasure of today was the perfect "note to self" for living in the moment!

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful words, Jennifer. I can relate to so much of this especially how removing the extras actually "squeezes out the joy." And this gives us a proper focus for tomorrow! God knew I needed to read this today as my word of the year is "focus." Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your story.

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    1. I love that word, Focus, as well! The more I simplify....the more I can focus, that is for sure! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  2. I love how you got a chance to practice what you were writing about right in the middle of your post! That's priceless and God-given. I want to remember to do that too - "savor all that today has to offer."

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Bethany. I pray you have had extra moments of "savoring the day" this week!

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  3. I love this perspective. I used to naively think that once my children were potty-trained that motherhood would be easier. I now know that their are joys and challenges with each stage of motherhood, and I laugh at my new-mom naivete. I hope you have a lovely weekend.-Jolene

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    1. I can remember thinking the same thing (way back when!).....how life would be smooth if I survived potty-training! Makes me smile now:)

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