Monday, June 6, 2011

"Savor the Moment"

Turning 40 has been so incredible, and trying to put this experience into words has really been difficult. Being a literature teacher, I know that words are powerful and must be used carefully in order to create a picture in a person's mind or give the listener or reader that feeling that is trying to be conveyed.

This time of the year, most teachers' conversations are about "why is school not out yet, how tired we are, how the kids don't want to do anything" etc. So, my co-worker and I were having one of those conversations, and finally he said that he was going to "Savor the Moments" that we have left in school. The light bulb went off in my head, and my entire attitude changed: "Savor the Moment." These are the three words that are perfect for conveying what life has been like since I turned 40.

Me and the co-worker who provided those words of wisdom!

Here are my top three things that I have learned to savor, even more, once I turned 40:

1. Time that is spent with people whom I care about: I spent memorial day weekend with my niece, her husband and her son. While there, I savored every moment. I enjoyed waking up to the sounds of baby Noah and later eating my favorite breakfast, oatmeal with blueberries, in the backyard. I savored enjoying a strawberry festival in the blazing hot sun, when normally, I may have been complaining about the heat. I enjoyed having lunch  and spending quality time with just my niece, while baby Noah was on an excursion with his daddy.

Baby Noah

 Noah and Kim

Kim and Me when Noah was in the oven. 
2. The over abundance of free time that I have: If you are a really busy person, and it really irritates you when someone has a lot of free time, I'm advising you to skip this part right now. I must admit that I am a fairly organized person, and therefore, I have a whole bunch of free time. I use to spend a lot of time feeling guilty about being able to go to the gym everyday, read for pleasure almost everyday, meet friends out whenever the desire hit me or when people were available. But, once I turned 40, ALL, and I mean, ALL of the guilt went away. I savor every bike ride that I am able to take, every evening that I am able to go see a play, and/or even take a long, glorious nap. And to make matters even better, I am not working this summer, and I will have plenty of time to do whatever, and I mean whatever, I want to do: sleep, read, bike, travel, swim, play tennis, spend time with people whom I care about or do absolutely nothing, and I know that I will enjoy every one of these moments with no guilt. Hooray!

Alice Walker dancing at a dance party in her honor
Hanging out with friends in DC
Running a Race

Hiking in Sonoma

3. Reading Great Novels. I've always enjoyed a great novel, but now I am really appreciating the art of writing; someone actually taking time to put words in print so that readers can enjoy them. I envision authors going to some remote part of Martha's Vineyard and sacrificing precious time in order to bring great novels to their readers. With this in mind, I don't hurry to finish a great novel anymore; I enjoy the journey. I think about the words, hidden meanings, and the characters. I am currently reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Every word on every page is wonderful, and I am truly feeling the characters. This novel is huge, and normally the length alone would make me rush, rush, rush, but not anymore.  I am savoring this read like a chocolate lover savors that last piece of chocolate.

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                JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

I was a little apprehensive about turning 40, but I am so glad that I made it. So, if you are not 40 yet, just know that It Is Good. Don't rush to get here, but..........

If you are 40 and beyond, well, you already know how sweet it is :)


dorothyreed19 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dorothyreed19 said...

Life is grand. Enjoy every moment.

Anonymous said...

Come back to visit! Don't feel bad about free time. Enjoy it!

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