Recently a friend and I were discussing the differences
between our lives in our 20’s and now, focusing on the positives such as knowing what we want, appreciating true friendship, and enjoying simple pleasures. Our discussion revealed how we savor the nuances of everyday life. When we had a fun evening with friends in our younger years we assumed that there were endless laughter-filled evenings in our future. Life is more complex now and those evenings with friends no longer happen every weekend. When they do we try harder to connect and relish the laughter because we know that nothing is endless. My friend and I talked in detail about enjoying sunny days, country drives, and fresh food, and when our visit ended we thanked one another for good conversation.
My favorite place to savor nature is an island located between Michigan’s two peninsulas where the pace is referred to as “island time”. It is where I learned to be still so that I could hear the birch leaves whispering in the breeze a hundred feet above me
and the surf swishing as it hits the pebbled beach. Every time I visit the island I collect rocks along the shore only to realize that they are not nearly as splendid out of the
water. When people ask me what there is to do there I reply “nothing”.
Psychologists refer to savoring as conscious attention and mindfulness of pleasure. We can recreate the pleasure we felt in a moment by reminiscing and can become more mindful with practice. Age has slowed me down some and I am no longer in the busy days of building a career and raising a family. Now I can focus on the world around me and the people I love without thinking of what I need to do next, tomorrow, or next
week. Those things belong on a list, out of the way until they need my attention.
I have not always been more like the tortoise than the hare, but have easily fallen in to a slower stride now that I know what winning the race means to me.