How many times recently have you just. stopped. to enjoy the day? Stopped all the errand running. Paused all the kids' activities. Said "no" to everyone else except the beautiful family that the Lord blessed you with?
Our society is full of people with overly busy schedules, myself included. We complain about the days going by so fast! How many times have you said, "I swear the days are getting faster!" I remember as a child it would take for. freaking. ever. to get to my birthday or Christmas. But each year since I have had kids, the days get faster and faster. Weeks go by at the speed of light.
Just yesterday my kids were learning to sit up by themselves. Now the oldest is driving.
This Lenten season, however, I got a taste of that slow snail's pace we used to have as kids (at least those of us older than 40). You know, when you went out in the morning after breakfast on your bike and rode and rode and played with friends all day long until dusk when the mosquitos started stinging. I always knew it was time to go home and go inside when my legs got itchy.
Today, Easter Sunday, was the epitome of a day with a relaxed pace. We awoke at 6:30 a.m. and got ready for 7:30 Mass. After Mass we came home to have breakfast with friends. It was so nice the four of us adults sat outside on the front porch and talked for hours. Then we got the dishes cleaned up, spiffed up the house a bit to get ready for the week ahead, and then went over to the house of some other friends. Their kids are the same ages as nos. 1, 2, and 3.
The kids swam in their pool all afternoon. They got out to eat dinner and to play a game of bean bag toss, but pretty much the rest of the time they were like fish and were swimming and enjoying the water. The grown ups got to sit and chat and the clock ticked a little slower than normal. They made a bonfire and we roasted marshmallows and their son, the oldest, played the guitar. The kids sang songs that they knew and laughed and burned tons of marshmallows. YUM.
It was just the perfect day.
We all need days like that (more than we allow ourselves) to teach our children to relax. Our kids are learning how to juggle a thousand and one extra-curricular activities, but we are doing them a disservice if we never teach them how to relax.
That is my goal this year: build in as much time to be together as a family without distractions from totally enjoying the day that the Lord has made. Oh sure, a busy person will argue that they can enjoy the day the Lord has made for them while being busy at the same time. But that reminds me of Martha and Mary from the gospel. You know the story.
There is a difference between appreciating a day that the Lord has made versus really being out there and fully enjoying it.
Soaking it all up. Absorbing every molecule of the day.
It is the ultimate way to be thankful for a day.