This holiday season we are working on creating more gifts that are less material and more experiential. Family-time together is priceless, so we are working to carve out the time and do more things together. It sometimes takes a life scare or a diagnosis to put this into perspective. It is so easy to otherwise get “too busy”.
Simple things like making “cuddle time” on the couch together while enjoying a family movie or a favorite show. Gathering at the table for meals at home or at your favorite family restaurant, the Dancing Tomato Caffé, is always a favorite and the connections through table conversation is wonderful. Slowing down is a gift you can give yourself and your family. But it does take practice, and like anything else, breaking busy habits and making changes takes time. Amidst holiday gift-giving, don’t forget to give the gift of patience to yourself and those around you.
One way I have really enjoyed slowing down is simply by taking time to connect and visit with friends. Whether it’s a phone call, a one-on-one visit, or a girlfriend-gathering for dinner. Carving out time with friends and family is a wonderful use of time. The messy house and laundry can wait!
Taking time for myself has been a tough gift to learn to give myself. I am a server at heart, I love to care for and serve others. But, after surviving a stroke six months ago, I am easily reminded of how fleeting and precious our time here on earth is. I may not be so lucky next time, so I am making time to take care of me, with every hope to continue being here for my family. I am “green” at this practice of slowing down and I am learning to be more patient with myself in order to accomplish some necessary changes. This chronic medical diagnosis has made it mandatory. But, I think that slowing down and practicing this simpler way of life can benefit so many. I am a perfect example of what appears to be healthy on the outside, but the reality is I am more fragile than I care to admit. I used to pride myself in being high energy and physically strong; a rock, not an egg.
Now, I am looking for strength in other ways. Still learning, still “green”. Accepting the things I cannot change is not how I was built, but it is where this green girl is growing. There is strength in discipline.