I read this statement somewhere earlier this month and it hit me profoundly.
Maybe because I have had a tendency for much of my life to want to rush time.
That is until about ten years ago, when the whirlwind of my kid's growing-up seemed to be going at breakneck speed and I realized my years with them at home were limited.
But this year, it seems even more poignant.
You see, I have a new appreciation for living in the moment, post-Camino.
Probably the most valuable skill I learned while out there pounding the path, one kilometer at a time, was enjoying the moment I was in. On the Camino, there was no point looking too far ahead. In fact, it was detrimental to my mental and emotional health to think beyond "How far am I going today?" And sometimes it was limited even more, to "You only have to get to the top of that hill..." or "Just to the next village."
So now, upon my return (I just had my six month anniversary of my arrival home), I find that my brain has essentially rewired itself so that being present is a skill I have developed and come to love. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity, over weeks of walking, with cross-body movement, and the meditative rhythm of swinging my trekking poles, to form new neural pathways.
Does that seem a little 'woo-woo?'
I can promise you, it's very real.
So here's how I'm 'Letting January Be January' this year:
- I'm letting every long, grey, cold, snowy day of January play out in all it's glory.
- I'm appreciating the allegory the seasons display so beautifully for us... rest, growth, bloom, harvest... what a glorious picture of the intervals we all go through in our lives
- I'm not complaining. About the cold. Or the snow. Or the slushy parking lots. Or the darkness.
- I'm taking that a step further and choosing instead to praise the things I would normally complain about:
- The cold feels so good and makes me feel so alive!
- The snow is so beautiful. Just look how high it's piled! That's incredible!
- Slushy parking lots... well that's harder. Let's see.... Slushy parking lots give me opportunities to look for folks who may need assistance. (Note to self: Look for people who need assistance next time I'm in a slushy parking lot...)
- The darkness is so cozy. I light a candle. I cuddle into my best, furry blanket. I make a cup of tea...
- I'm enjoying the slowness of the season. We stay home more. We aren't as busy. We're getting lots of books read and enjoying lots of basketball on tv. We don't spend as much money either... because we're home.
- I'm savoring my warm home. My comfy couch. My leggings. My work-from-home job that allows me to avoid going out.
- I'm giving myself grace when it comes to my 1000 mile walking goal this year. I'm allowing days off when it's bitter cold or too slippery and not beating myself up for it. I know we will have months and months of fabulous weather for me to make it up. I refuse to get uptight about it. I'm doing yoga instead, knowing the walking will happen. I walk when I can, and don't when I can't. It's really that simple.
The time passes whether we are miserable and complaining or content and grateful. This year, I'm choosing the latter.