I'm a very focused, driven, intense person. I like every day to be full of work and accomplishing things. On the days when I haven't accomplished much 'work' I'm frustrated with myself and go to bed feeling annoyed.
I often forget that living isn't always about what you've managed to accomplish in terms of what knowledge you've gained or what you've done. It's also about taking time to enjoy the journey, to have fun, and to laugh. Enjoying the journey isn't usually about spending an hour+ a day doing something considered 'fun'. It's the smallest things that bring the full realization of just how amazing life can be.
Remember all those times as a child when you would keep your eye on a huge dandelion flower and carefully wait until it was just the right ripeness to pluck and blow the seeds to scatter on the four winds? Some of the seeds would fly far away at once while others would hover nearby until an air current caught them and you would watch it as long as you could, musing on where it would land and whether it would take root or die. It was such a simple occupation but it brought immense joy and a vibrant awareness of the richness of life.
Life is full of those dandelion moments if you only know how to recognize them. Times where you force yourself to stop, take a break, and just absorb the atmosphere and what's happening around you. I have learned that those mini-breaks are vital to maintaining one's equilibrium.
A few of my 2016 dandelion moments:
~ Yielding to my 4-year-old brother when he begged me to take him on 'just a little walk around the driveway, not even on the road' even though my mind was screaming at me that I had a blog post that absolutely MUST be finished that night and I was running out of time and even typing like Hamilton might mean that I wouldn't finish in time. Kids are more important than blog posts. It was a fun walk.
~ Braiding my horse's mane while I made sure she ate her wormer-coated oats and enjoying the play of the strands through my hands.
~ Pausing for a few seconds at a friend's FB profile picture to appreciate how the color of their shirt brought out the color of their eyes and how skillfully their makeup was applied that day and what a pleasing overall aesthetic the picture was.
~ Taking a moment in the middle of the afternoon to just pray and thank God for the gift of a friend and for getting the chance to talk serious subjects with that friend for a few hours.
~ Receiving a card and a tiny rubber dragon in the mail and stopping for a few moments of just cradling it in my hand and smiling over the hidden, symbolic meanings in the gift.
~ Making a new friend via Pinterest because I took three minutes to send this person a message about how much I liked their storyboards.
~ Smiling hugely because a random someone from the other side of the world liked one of my first photos on Instagram.
~ Getting a picture text, replying with one phrase, and having the other person squeal because you know each other so well that she knew you would understand the picture without any explanation.
~ Going for a twilight hike alone in gently falling snow.
~ How warm it makes me feel when someone I barely know wishes me Merry Christmas.
~ How much it meant to me when people I only spoke to occasionally throughout the year messaged me at the end of the year and told me that they were grateful for me that year.
Take time to pause and blow the dandelion seeds. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health will thank you.