Understanding Your Daily Focus
Over the past several months, I have been spending time as a volunteer for a hospice organization in my area. When my dad passed away many years ago, my mom took great comfort from having a volunteer come and give her some much-needed respite. When I moved back to that area, I wanted to pass that gift on to another family and became a volunteer.
This opportunity has given me a chance to see how people can be so filled with gratitude from the small things in life. A dinner spent with a loved one, the sun shining on a beautiful summer’s day, even how something as annoying as a storm with massive hail can be an opportunity for laughter shared and memories made.
This week I have been doing my best to see those simple pleasures in my life and to find something to be grateful for when life seems overwhelming. I hope this Daily Focus will do the same for you.
“Small pleasures, small pleasures. Who would deny us these?”
Lionel Bart wrote these lyrics for a song from the musical Oliver! Who would deny anyone small pleasures? Not me, and no one should be denied their pleasures and treasures in life, small or large. With life so often being hectic and challenging, small pleasures are sometimes all we have time for. Whether it is five minutes to enjoy the sunset, your favourite cookie, or a few deep grounding breaths, we all need to make time for ourselves and our version of small pleasures. Today’s word is Allow.
“Simple pleasures are best.” -Alan Bradley
Children and cats seem to have this all figured out. Buy anything that comes in a box and what do little kids usually want to play with? That’s right, the box. Same with cats. We bought our crew a fantastic cat tree and I really thought that they would love it. They did, but they had a lot more fun with the box and Styrofoam. It’s not that we can’t or shouldn’t enjoy the fancier things in life, but there is something to be said for letting our imaginations soar by playing with the box. Today’s word is Simplicity.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our perspective can and does colour how we experience the world we live in. I think most of us have heard the saying: “Looking at life through rose coloured glasses” which stemmed from the word ‘rosy’, meaning optimistic. Although that particular saying is usually used in a derogatory way, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Taking the approach that each day can become one of the best you have ever known allows you to look at opportunities, interactions, and challenges in positive ways. Our outlooks do affect our reaction, so let your outlook affect your reactions the right way. Today’s word is Rosy.
“Time has a way of showing us what really matters.”
Sometimes we are so focused on what is going wrong, or we are pulled in too many directions at once, we lose sight of what is really important in life. Growing up, my mum would spend all day, every day cleaning our home from top to bottom. It always looked perfect, but looking back now, she sees that she lost out on so many opportunities and experiences that she could have had with my brother and me. She still cleans her house, but now she takes time to enjoy her home in a way that she didn’t before. Today’s word is Important.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -Marcel Proust
Choosing the right people to have in our lives isn’t that different from how a gardener approaches which flowers and plants to put together. Some plants will support each other’s growth, others will grow indifferent to other plants near it, and then there are those that don’t do well together and will be detrimental to the health of neighboring plants. Having the right friends and loved ones can make our lives feel complete and far more beautiful, just by being part of it. A text or call from a friend can bring a smile to our faces, even when our lives are going a bit haywire. Not to mention that the right people help us grow and be the best version of ourselves that we can be, just as we do for them. Growing together is so much more fulfilling and fun. Today’s word is Bloom.
“Slow down. Do less.” -Maxime Lagacé
People fill their days with so much: work, school, activities, various appointments, and other important events. Most of us don’t even have five minutes to call our own. But just as experiences are important, so is time to simply be. Maybe we should all start to make our own self-care as high a priority as we make doing things for others and dealing with all the other pressing matters that vie for our attention. Striving to slow down and smell the roses allows us to appreciate the quiet time when we are able to have it, and to acknowledge that slowing down allows us to see those things that make our lives worthwhile. Today’s word is Break.
“When you turn routine jobs into joy, you change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
Mary Poppins sang: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun,” and even though we are most likely not going to have magical aid to make our daily tasks easier, there is a lot to be said for this sentiment. When you approach life with a heavy heart, no matter what you do it drains you and it gets harder and harder to get through your day. So go ahead and put on the music, grab your best smile, and find the fun in that task, errand, or job. Like attracts like more often than not and maybe you will find that lost ring behind the toaster, or run into an old friend on the trip to the store; who knows what surprises and blessings will happen. Today’s word is Cheerful.
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