Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you blink your eyes and the day is over? You could have sworn you were just taking your morning shower and now you’re taking your makeup off for the night. Life can be very go-go-go like that. It’s the curse of being ambitious and leading a full life—one filled with friends, passion projects, a rewarding career, and family. In one way, I’m glad that I squeeze every last drop out of my day. No minute goes wasted. Every 20-minute increment of my life is scheduled! It’s very rare that I go to bed and feel like I could have done more that day. If anything, I often feel that I overdid it because there was just no time to take a deep breath. There was no time to exhale. I lived my day but did I pause to enjoy it? I accomplished a lot but did I appreciate the rewards?
Often, all I have time to do when I accomplish one thing is move onto the next thing. But what am I supposed to do? Be less ambitious? Have less of a social life? Do less stuff? If you are like me, then you probably fear that relaxation can quickly turn into laziness. You don’t want to lose momentum. So you never slow down. You never take a break. And, sure, once in a while I pause to appreciate all I’ve accomplished. But I also have a sense that I missed a lot of subtle, beautiful moments along the way. I remember one day when my boyfriend was driving us somewhere. I worked on my laptop with one hand while feeding myself a sandwich with the other and waiting on hold with Internet customer service on Bluetooth. Not a lot of balance going on there. It can get to be too much, so I had to find ways to feel a bit more balanced.
Make a nice meal, just because
Once or twice a week, I will take the time to make myself a beautiful, delectable, intentional meal. Not just whatever is in the pantry. Not just reheated leftovers or something frozen. Not whatever is fastest and easiest. I will take time to make a recipe I’m proud of. There’s something about a well-crafted meal that makes me feel like I’m honoring myself, and that forces me to slow down and appreciate each bite.