A Life Worth Savoring…
Good day, my lovelies!
The pace of life has definitely ticked up a notch since When Never Comes hit April’s Amazon First Reads list, and that’s a good thing! But more demands on my time means less time for savoring the actual fruits of my labors, which is probably why I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things like beauty and simplicity, and how they’re often crowded out of our lives in the name of productivity. Meals become rushed affairs, prepared on the fly and often eaten in shifts, gulped without tasting in order to move on to the next thing. The bath ritual, once a symbol of serenity and calm, has become a forgotten art, replaced by five-minute showers mindlessly taken in preparation for another jam packed day. Even sleep, one of our most precious commodities, has lost its sense of the sacred, as our bedrooms are increasingly filled with digital gadgets that keep us up later and later, and affect our ability to quiet our minds.
We’ve become slaves to a hair-on-fire, 24/7 pace of life that isn’t really a life at all. And the truth is we’ve CHOSEN this. Maybe not in word, but certainly in deed. We’ve stopped setting boundaries on how we spend our time and energy. We’ve stopped observing the small traditions that refresh and renew, like meals prepared with care and enjoyed together, self-care routines that require us to slow down and honor the body and its needs. Long story short, we’ve stopped valuing beauty, richness, quality, and ritual. Now we just value fast. Or as Daft Punk so succinctly put it: Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. And I get it. There’s a lot to do, people counting on us, places to be, targets we need to hit in order to see ourselves as successful.
But success isn’t always about cramming MORE into our days. More stuff, more time, more lists. Sometimes it’s about slowing down, deepening our experiences, savoring our moments. One. At. A. Time. It might look like setting the table, pouring the wine, turning off your phone, and enjoying a meal together, instead of wolfing something down on our way out the door. Running a bath, adding some salts, lighting a candle, and having a good long soak, rather than stumbling blindly out of bed and dragging ourselves to the shower. Preparing for sleep by slipping into your favorite PJs, turning off your gadgets and picking up a book (I have some suggestions there!) and reading until you’re drowsy, instead of dropping off in a stupor, still dressed, with the TV droning in the background.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… who has time for THAT? You do. I do. We ALL do. If that’s how we CHOSE to spend our time. And by choosing, I mean setting priorities and establishing boundaries, making ritual and self care as critical as whatever else is on our to-lists. And yes, it’s about saying no to some requests. As the saying goes, “Something’s gotta give.” Well, shouldn’t YOU be the one who decides WHAT that something is? Today, why not set aside a few moments to ponder the kinds of rituals you might add to your life to make it richer and deeper. If you’re stumped, here’s a tip to get you started… stop saving “the good stuff” for later! Live now, fully and richly. Sleep on pretty sheets. Pull out the guest towels. Eat off the good china. Slip into the silk jammies. Buy your own flowers. Read good books. Sip good wine.
Savor. Savor. Savor.
I feel like you just described me to a tee. As a wife, mother and full time employee there’s never enough time in the day to do everything. I occasionally wish that I could just run away to a deserted island. It’s very hard to just find time for myself to decompress. But how do you decide which things to give up? Everything is important and has to be done.
The struggle is definitely real, Kristin! I think we get sucked in in several ways. First, we confuse what FEELS urgent, with what is ACTUALLY important, until everything starts feeling like a four alarm fire. Second, we allow other people–friends, kids, spouses, coworkers–to co-opt our time, because we don’t feel entitled to set boundaries on our own time and energy. We get “volunteered” and we say nothing. And finally, and perhaps most important, we don’t ask for help. We’ve been conned into believing we have to do it all, so asking for help feels shameful and weak. Put these together and you have the perfect recipe for burnout! It’s not easy, but as women we HAVE to start taking back our time.