I’ve been thinking about our fast-paced, contemporary lives and am wondering if anyone has the time to enjoy the richness that simple pleasures can bring. My schedule has me traveling quite a bit lately, so I’ve had “forced” thinking time while I soar through the air in a tin tube with wings.
Sitting like a sardine on a plane, tens of thousands of feet above the earth can really give you an opportunity to pause and reflect. Looking out the window at the white wisps and patterned landscape I really had the sense that my life had become overly complicated -much because of my own doing. I’m sure if you are like me, you’ll fill up your day, week or year doing good things, fun things, and exciting things. My problem is that I’m involved doing so many things that I forget to remember what I’ve already done or I forget what really brings my joy. For me, it takes a spirited effort to focus on slowing down to enjoy what I’m doing and what I’ve already done. There should be no real need to speed off onto the next thing without fully comprehending what has just been finished.
My daughter taught me this point so well the other day through a drawing that she made for me. It was very similar to a drawing she had made for me the week before, and that drawing was nearly the same as ones she had previously made for me. I asked her to tell me why she enjoyed making those specific pictures and she told me that she liked the trees and the clouds and the grass. They were her “favorite things.” Her words have stuck with me. Not because they were revolutionary, but because they were simple. Her honesty shed light on the importance of being present and enjoying the things that you’ve experienced. It also showed me that reminding yourself about those things is very important.
As an artist I think it is crucial that I continually reflect on my experiences. I want to focus on having those memorable moments burned into the core of my being, so that when I recall them visually I can re-experience them emotionally as well. I think that’s a great place to create from and good place live each day. Carve out some thinking time to regain perspective on the places you’ve been, the experiences you’ve had and the things you’ve accomplished. Slow down a bit and reflect on everything that has formed you to this point in your life.