Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and it will be a very different Thanksgiving indeed as we navigate through the current pandemic. We’re to celebrate only with those who live in our household which means many families will not be surrounded by family, and that’s a tough nut to crack. So I thought I’d go back to a post I wrote on Thanksgiving Monday back in 2011: a reminder that what once was, will be again…one day.
“My day started with a run along a beautiful wooded trail, around a little lake. My running buddy and I (we both trained for our first 5K race in September) now run together at least two or three times a week. Our last run was 7K, and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves!
The water on the lake was smooth as glass this morning. The sun was shining. I had a smile on my face. But my legs felt like dead weights. What would I focus on?
It’s easy to focus on pain or difficulty when you’re going through it. And often it’s not the obstacles in your path but the pebbles in your shoes that will give you the most challenge and aggravation. How do you not think of a pink elephant?…or the pebbles in your shoes?
You remove your focus from what you “don’t” want or “don’t” like. You remove your focus from the pain. How? By consciously looking at, thinking about or sensing the positive and the constructive…the journey, the surroundings, the moment.
When I got home I knew my adult boys would be sleeping in, so I’d have the chance to make my “famous” Finnish pancakes and Canadian bacon.
This is truly a labour of love because it takes a l – o – n – g time to make. As the butter sizzled in the pan for each dollop of batter and the bacon crinkled to crispy perfection, I was reminded how important it is to take pleasure in things that can, at times, seem like a chore. By slowing down, moving fluidly and seeing perfection in the imperfect, our activities and actions can become a dance. Languid, smooth and almost effortless. It’s when we rush through things mindlessly, shoulders hunched to our earlobes, mind distracted and thinking about everything BUT the task at hand that we create a chore-charged life. Me? I’m going for the dance.
With the boys tucked into stacks of pancakes, maple syrup and bacon, I wandered outside to take photos: one of my favourite activities, making sure that all my senses were engaged. The sound of dry leaves dropping from their branches sounded like crisp, crackling raindrops. The smell of damp leaves and wet grass mingled with the peppermint and lemon balm leaves I pressed between my fingers. I touched a milkweed pod gossamer seed and sent it into flight, making a wish. I slowed down. I watched a monarch butterfly sunbathe on the dewy grass, waiting for the sun to permit its wings to fully open.
People sometimes tell me I’m lucky: lucky that I take pleasure in the little things. Lucky that I can take time to do the things that give me pleasure, and bring benefit and smiles to those around me. But it has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with priorities. I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone is “too busy” to stop and smell the roses. An over-used phrase and an under-used activity.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I’m thankful for my family, my dear friends and for the myriad of experiences that make life a beautiful bouquet of roses.”
That was what I wrote back in 2011, and for me, despite all that is happening during this difficult time, I will always go for the dance.
Wishing you bliss, blessings, pancakes and bacon!
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