As students graduate and my own children complete yet another year of school, I feel a little sad for how quickly time passes. It seems the school year just began. I don’t think I would pick rewind if it was an option, but I hope I remember to pause enough to appreciate the moments while they’re here.
At any stage of life, making a temporary stop or incorporating some inaction, taking a breath, looking up and around to notice what is right now, can help us live happily and with fewer regrets in the future. My cousin’s son just graduated from college. He posted a message that read, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you actually left them.” Another wise soul often shares with me that “Today is the best day of your life.” It’s easy to get caught up in planning for tomorrow or thinking about what’s coming next (the hustle and bustle of everyday life). It’s common in our society to always be racing to the next thing. When we can occasionally dare to go against what everyone else is doing, and remember to enjoy what is happening at this precise moment, we are going to feel like we are experiencing life the best we can, today.
Pausing is powerful. It can change the way we do our daily jobs, the way we communicate throughout our communities and our nation, and it can build people and relationships. I read about a bracelet called the Meaning to Pause Bracelet that vibrates every 60 or 90 minutes with a “friendly nudge/reminder” to keep people on track of their daily intention of gratitude. That’s an idea, as taking time to consider the positive in a day or moment is often overlooked.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beady
Try pausing for gratitude by saying or writing down a few things each day that you are thankful for.
We can also pause and listen to ourselves and others ~ there is always a lot to learn. We can pause before we put a rumor out there that is garbage, pause before we hit the send button to forward something that could ruin someone’s life, or pause before we make judgments about peoples personal or professional decisions. Pausing offers a moment to check-in, to be sure that we are acting fairly and contributing our best, to be sure our life is being experienced fully and authentically and not just being coasted through.
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Time goes by quickly, and it may seem there isn’t a moment to pause, but for so many reasons—please make the time!