Friday, December 20, 2013

Be Still - Be Thoughtful

When I was growing up, time never passed by fast enough for me.  I was always looking forward to the next big moment of my life and when I was really young, I talked non-stop about all those great firsts that were coming up.  Ask any of my brothers or sisters and they can attest to the fact that I was the least patient of all the children in our family.  It was my job.

It is always helpful to give examples so I will give one here so that you understand just how hard it was for me to wait!  When I was 12 I had asked for a bottle of  Charlie Perfume for Christmas and I knew that my parents had purchased it but I just really needed to know for sure before Christmas.  I couldn't wait!  My parents wrapped all our presents and put them in a corner in their bedroom and told us all to STAY OUT when they were not home.  I was usually pretty good about obeying but Christmas time it was always a struggle.

One Saturday afternoon when my parents left the house to do more shopping I tip toed into their bedroom to verify that the perfume was going to be under the tree.  I slowly fumbled around through the presents until I found the one that was just the right size.  I very, very, very slowly started peeling the tape back so that the wrapping paper wouldn't tear.  When I had completely unwrapped the package and saw that it was in fact the perfume I had asked for I breathed a sigh of relief.  Of course, that wasn't good enough.  I had to open it up and see the bottle, and take the cap off so that I could smell it, and then of course, spray it!

After satisfying myself that I was going to find this wonderful gift under the tree, I re-wrapped the package and put it back in the pile of presents.  To make an already long story short, my parents did smell the perfume in their bedroom later and asked . . . . well, we don't need to go into all that.

So we have established the fact that I can't wait for much of anything, I couldn't wait to go to Kindergarten.  I was excited to be baptized when I was 8 years old so that I would feel like I was officially a member of my families church.  I also longed for the day when I would turn 14 years old and I could go to Church dances and be one of the big kids.  And of course 16 was the big one.  In my house it wasn't just the age of 16 that you were finally allowed to drive but in my house, you could finally date! Now that I look back on it, I may have wished a little bit of my life away.  So many wonderful things to look forward to as a young person and I wanted to hurry up and experience them all.

I can admit it.  I am still an inpatient person and my kids and husband can certainly testify to this but hopefully, I have gotten it a little more under control.  It isn't impatience that things aren't done correctly or that they even go my way.  I just have a problem waiting for things to happen.  Unfortunately, looking forward and getting excited about things is just the way I am.  Again, I blame my DNA.  I can't do much about it other than try and figure out ways to enjoy the moment I am in.  It does wear on my mind though.  Do you have this problem or is this just me? 

So what have I done to try and redeem myself from this horrible habit of giving in to the temptation to not wait for some of the good things in life or trying to rush through the early years of my life?  How have I changed my every day habits to try and move my focus from looking ahead to enjoying the here and now?  I haven't found an easy answer or even a quick fix to my bad habit but I have made an honest effort to try and be more thoughtful about everything in my life and one day I received a very special little gift from a friend.  I don't think that it was expensive and it wasn't even very large but to me, it was invaluable because when I opened it up and flipped through the pages, I knew exactly what I should do with it. 

In order to help focus my thoughts on the here and now I decided to use this little book to keep track of my thoughts and the special things that I have heard and seen so that I could realize the blessings of my life every day, not just what I had to look forward to.  This little book has creamy paper and fits perfectly into a purse.  I carry it with me everywhere I go and I use it to jot down so many different things.  Now I know that everyone has moved to eletronic means of storing information and I have too for the most part but there is just something special about turning the pages of a book that has handwritten thoughts expressed on it's pages.  It is priceless!

Other than number 1 and 2, this list is in no particular order.

In this book I have a special section of thoughts I have had throughout the last few years regarding the things that I am thankful for and that fill my life.  I have only listed 59 things so far because I am particular about what I will put on this list.  I try to be really thoughtful before listing something in this book because I am thankful for many things but the people or things that are listed on these pages truly affect my life.  Whether it is that they are part of my family, impact me on a daily basis or just make me happy.  I could easily just fill up this whole book with everything I am thankful for but for me, that's not really the point.  I wanted to create a list that reflects my every day imaginings and give evidence of the things that I am mindful of each and every day.  Why?  Because it's important to be thoughtful about everything around you.  Even if you are the most busy person on the planet!

I also write down thoughts and important points from Church talks, Sunday School lessons, and faith building quotes.  There have been times in the past when I have been mad at myself for not jotting something down that I know I will want to refer to later.  And honestly, I am not good at remembering something word for word unless I have heard it repeatedly so writing things down while they are fresh is what I really have to do.  As you can see, I don't have the best handwriting but again, when I look at the words on these pages, I relive and can feel the meaning behind them and I remember WHY I wrote them down.  I think that is important.

This little book has become my friend and I have opened it up many a time to not only write down important things that I don't want to forget but to gain strength from it's pages.  One day I hope that my children and grandchildren will pick up this little book, flip through it's pages and understand what was important to me.

So get a little notebook and find a spot for it in your daily life.  Take the time to be still and be thoughtful about everything not matter how small or unimportant you may think it is.  One day you will look back on these notations in your life and realize that they have affected the type of person you have become.  I promise you, you will be happy you did!

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