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Savoring Life's Sweetness

May 3, 2008
Who isn't busy these days? Our lives are filled with responsibilities, obligations, family, work, friends, volunteer commitments, and "to do" lists. A few of us even try to squeeze in a teensy bit of time for ourselves. But what if, in the midst of all this busyness, you're missing your life?

Perhaps you, like me, sometimes get lost in busy, busy, do, do, hurry, hurry and miss the joys that life is offering. Perhaps we need an occasional reminder to savor the sweet moments. I received one such gift this past weekend.


My father died 37 years ago, at the age of 45. He saw one grandchild before his death but missed the other seven as well as the eight great grandchildren that followed. He would have loved them all.

On Saturday my sister Vicki sent me an email about her granddaughter (my great-niece), Haley. In the U.S. we celebrate Veteran's Day in November, honoring those who have served our country in the military.

The children in Haley's second grade class were asked to bring a picture of someone in their family who was a veteran. The pictures are displayed in the classroom during November. Haley proudly took a picture of my father, her great grandfather, who was a World War II Navy veteran.

That same night in a letter written to the tooth fairy (apparently she had lost a tooth that day) she wrote, "I don't need anything for my tooth but I would very much like to meet my great grandfather."

When I read this email, I was busy (of course!) getting ready to go somewhere (more hurry, hurry) but my sister's story stopped me in my tracks.

My heart broke open and I chose to give myself some time to be with that. I carved out a few moments to miss my dad, to feel sad that he has missed so much, and to ache at the poignancy of a child's simple request that could not be fulfilled.

After those feelings moved through me, I was left savoring the sweetness of a seven year old asking not for money as one usually does of the tooth fairy, but to meet her grandfather. Pausing for a few moments, I allowed myself to savor this sweetness, to be profoundly touched, fully and deeply alive, and grateful for this child's presence in my life.

Days later, the experience of that sweetness still lingers. And I'm so glad for this reminder to take time to savor life's sweet moments.


Maybe like me, you sometimes need to be reminded of what you already know: to fully experience the joys of life, to pay attention to the special moments. Life is made up of moments, some more enjoyable than others. Are you savoring the sweet ones?

Noticing, focusing on, and savoring the sweet moments will feed your heart, increase your energy, and nurture you. These moments make your life fuller, richer, and more joyous.

Renowned mythology professor and author, Joseph Campbell, said, "I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive . . . so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive." Sweet moments help us feel the rapture of being alive. If we let them.


Where do you find sweet moments? There are so many possibilities: children, nature, people, animals, beauty, art, and more.

Be on the lookout for your own sweet moments. When you notice one, pause to savor it. Whether it's for the space of a breath or an hour, allow yourself to be in and with the moment. Let it bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your heart. Open your heart to be truly and deeply touched. Take the sweet moment in and appreciate it.

(By the way, if you're in a challenging time in your life, it can be hard to see the sweetness. Be gentle with yourself. Do the best you can to stay open to the possibility of some small sweetness and light. If you can't find a spot of light in today's darkness, perhaps you will tomorrow or the next day or the next. )

Whenever life offers you a sweet moment, take time to savor it. The more you do this, the more you'll experience the joy of being fully, wonderfully alive.

About the Author
Bonnie McFarland works with women at midlife who are bored, stuck, or restless and wondering what to do with the rest of their lives. Visit www.labellavia.com for her free e-book and ezine to create more pleasure, passion, and purpose in your life.
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