I hate to admit this, I really do, but I am so often distracted. I think that I may be getting better, and I certainly am trying, but I am still distracted so very often. I check my phone too often, wonder what’s going on on the socials, and turn my head towards every notification. And, I always have an excuse. A reason for my poor behavior. (hint: an excuse is not a justification)
Sometimes, people will be talking to me and I’m only giving them a half-hearted response. Sometimes my 13 year old will ask if I heard her. Sometimes, when I’m literally repeating back my husband’s words he says to me, “Just because you can repeat what I told you doesn’t mean you were really listening to me.” And often, I don’t even have a device in my hand. I have just been trained by said devices to have an intensely short attention span.
When these things are brought to my attention, I realize just how much I am missing. The chats, the looks, the laughter, the eye rolls. I sometimes miss the moment. I miss the fun because I’m not – or I can’t – pay attention. If I’m missing that, something that overtly happens right in front of my face, how much of the rest of this beautiful world am I missing? How much are you missing? What do we overlook on a daily basis? What are we missing every day, every hour, every minute because we are only thinking about the next thing that we need to do or see or hear? Bear with me here. I’m kind of a nerd. I love words. I love pictures. I love word pictures. Think about some of the things that you haven’t paid attention to in a while, but that you know you’ve noticed before. Yesterday evening we were at the amusement park, and it was so cool to see all of the lights. What about the smell right before a rain? Or the sound of the leaves crunching underneath your feet? I love when I’m sitting at the table in the morning and the light catches my glass in just a certain way. Do you notice the leaves that are still desperately hanging on to the trees? The squirrels that are chasing each other in your yard? What’s just outside your office window?
There are so many things that we are regularly overlooking. Things that others are overlooking. Let’s take time to notice those things today.
Today’s challenge is to notice the things that you are overlooking. I want you to take a time out. The earlier in the day, the better. Take what you can. Take 10 minutes, maybe 15 if possible, and go for a little walk. Go outside if you want. Walk around the office. Sneak a moment in the cafe or break room or wherever it is that you and your colleagues rest. Sit at the kitchen table. Whatever you do, take time to notice the little things. Write them down. Anything and everything that catches your eye is up for grabs. As you write these things down, take a moment to thank God for them. Then, tuck the list in your pocket. Throughout your day, revisit your list. (you may even end up adding to it) Go back and see the things that you wrote down. As you read them or think of them, say a quick prayer of thanksgiving. Train yourself today in the art of slowing down. Today’s challenge trains us to stop, look, notice, and be thankful. We are slowly learning to be more calm and bring peace to our daily lives.
I would love to hear the things that you notice today when you take the time to look. Comment below if you are surprised by the beauty in your surroundings today.