We celebrated my mother’s 69th birthday yesterday. I find it hard to believe she’s 69 years old. She doesn’t look 69 and honestly has more energy than I do somedays. However, as we celebrated her special day, I sat and wondered where the years have gone as it seems like just yesterday when she told me to clean my room, eat the food on my plate or be home by midnight.
Celebrating my mother’s birthday also had me reflecting on how my life has changed over the last several years. I’m grateful yet perplexed. Life changes daily. We all face challenges daily. As I sat there, I asked myself…. Have I taken a few moments to cherish the changes and challenges in my life? Have I taken the time to be grateful for the little things like the smell of a summer morning or the scent of a recent rain? Do I smile when I look at my daughters or loved ones and remember how lucky I am to have them in my life? Again, I’m grateful for where my life has lead me, but I’m perplexed that it feels like its recently passed me by. Again, I sit and wonder if I’ve really lived in every moment. Honestly, I don’t feel I have recently. My life has been a mixture of joys, sorrows, heartaches, illnesses, challenges and changes. So many amazing changes and events have taken place, yet I am wondering how I am where I am. My mother’s birthday made me realize I could have been more present the last few years. I could have paid more attention to the small joys, the milestones, the wins, and the loses. I could have been more mindful of my journey and could have enjoyed the twists and turns and ups and downs. Aren’t we all a little guilty of this?
Yesterday, my mother gave me a magazine called “Get Started with Mindfulness”. (Thanks Mom especially since I’m the one who’s supposed to giving the gifts on your birthday!) What an amazing gift! The magazine resonated so strongly with me. It brought so many answers to the questions I’d been asking myself and helped me realize I need to be more mindful of my life and the graces around me. As the old saying goes, I need to stop and smell the roses!
One of the articles in the magazine was by Janice Marturano titled “Take a Moment”. It had very powerful suggestions for mindfulness! One of my favorites was to use the door as a time to check in with yourself. Every time you open a door to leave your house, you stop and take a moment…..to smell how different the air is from inside vs outside, to feel your muscles tense when you grab the door to push or pull it open or silently noticing your breath in your body. By taking a moment to be present and “smell the roses”, you bring yourself to the present moment. When you are present, you can be more mindful and truly cherish exactly where you are at that exact moment! Brilliant idea if you ask me!
My mother’s birthday was a great time for celebration and reflection. I am very grateful for the awareness this has brought me. I want to remember the special days and be grateful for the joys and challenges that life brings. I want to reminisce and be thankful for how I got to where I am right now. I encourage you to be present and practice mindfulness so you can also cherish every precious moment and not be caught wondering how life has passed you by!