No more cardboard moments…..

How easily we become entrenched in the monotony of our everyday routines. Wishing we had more time, that we could work less and play more and putting off joy until the weekend or our next holiday. I have been thinking about the things that make life memorable, the moments that have the most impact and that we remember forever. The ones that make you smile when you think of them.

Something triggered such a memory for me this week. I remembered seeing an expression of bliss and joy on the face of my lovely husband. I smiled at the thought of it. It wasn’t the kind of moment that would normally make a memory special. It wasn’t the kind of moment you would photograph and post on facebook. He was in ICU, he had not long been out of an induced comma. He had a strong desire to soak his feet in a basin of warm water. He had been asking the nurses and myself to do this for him. The look on his face when he finally got to put his feet in that warm water “utter and complete joy” I smile on the inside when I think about it, my heart smiles too.

Such a simple moment, unplanned, part of the every day routine in ICU, but rich and real and it will stay with me forever. This got me thinking about how we make memories and how to make a memory out of everyday because life is really short. I am fast approaching the age my husband was when he passed away, what if my memory making time is running out like his did?

What I have realized is that we have a choice. We can give ourselves over fully to every moment or we can go through our day wishing we were elsewhere making cardboard moments out of our everyday routines. Moments that all look the same, memories that have no distinction from each other, memories that you can put out with the recycling to use again next week when you are, once again not engaging with the life in every moment and every moment in your life.

So how do we change our mindset that tells us memory making is for “special times” I have thought about this a lot this week and I have been experimenting. What I have discovered is that if I allow myself to be fully engaged with what I am doing,  what I am doing gives me something back. It gives me a sense of purpose and completion. It helps me to recognize that I need to give myself a little more time some days or that I need to take a break or that its good to really enjoy exactly what I am doing no matter how big, small, exciting or important that something is.

The really surprising thing about this process of being committed to every moment is that it has given me more time. I have become less stressed and more effective at completing what needs to be done. I have had time to walk on the beach, to exercise, to cook for myself  and I have started to notice the joy that is all around me to be had. Sunrise over Wellington from the window of a plane. Turning up the car Radio and singing really, really, loudly. Deciding on my plans for my new kitchen and signing them off enjoying every change and every choice I am making.

My heart is open in sharing this with you I am fully engaged in the joy of putting down these words. Make the most of every moment, give yourself to it fully, it might surprise you, there is Joy to be had!

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4 thoughts on “No more cardboard moments…..

  1. Ngaire

    I too used to soak my husbands feet in a bowl of warm water in the last weeks of his life….creature comforts were all he had left. I will never know if he enjoyed it as he was unable to communicate but it gave me purpose and peace. The greatest lesson I learned from the years I cared for him was to live with mindfulness. What a gift that lesson was and is. When you master it, i.e. living in the moment, stress melts away and as you have discovered, joy is all around. Love to you Paula. X.

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  2. Priscilla

    Good morning Paula, it’s 8.40am & instead of getting ready for work I’m taking a moment to read your blog post. Wow!! what an epiphany & a refreshing moment this has been. Have a beautiful day 🙂

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