Monday, July 06, 2009

Simply Be



A few weeks ago, I took the "back way" to work. I work in a small city about 40 miles south of Phoenix and occasionally, when I'm not in a hurry to get to the office or if I feel like I need some extra quiet time in the car just to think, I'll take the back way to work - which takes me through the Gila River Indian Reservation. The road through the Reservation has little traffic and is usually very desolate and peaceful. I don't always take this route because it's a two lane highway and you risk getting behind one of the big construction or quarry trucks traveling through the Reservation, and when you do - you are stuck going nowhere fast. While I like the peacefulness of the drive, I don't like to drive slow!

On this particular day, as I was traveling through the Reservation, I found myself behind one of those big, slow trucks. My view was completely blocked and I couldn't see a thing in front of me. I don't usually try and go around these trucks, as I've seen enough white crosses along the roadside to remind me of the dangers of going around large trucks on a single lane, curvy road. As my solitary and peaceful drive was abruptly interrupted by this large truck forcing me to slow my speed, my eyes wandered to my driver's side mirror - and the view caught my attention (which, of course, compelled me to grab my phone and take a picture). As I looked at the empty road behind me and the awesome mountain range in the distance, I was struck by how much I missed along my drive because I'm focused solely on my destination and the road in front of me and I fail to look at the view around me.

Much like my drive to work that morning, I realize that I spend too much of my life focused on what's next and how to get there. Whether it be getting through the day, the week, the weekend, the school year, the next MRI or the next trip to St. Louis. I'm always forward focused, never stopping to just BE and appreciate where I'm at and where I've been. Before I know it, I'll have reached my final destination and have missed so much along the way ... so much goodness, enjoyment, appreciation and beauty.

I'm really good at talking the talk ("enjoy the moment"), but not so good at walking the walk. The picture in my car mirror was a reminder that it's time. It's time to slow down. It's time to appreciate the past - hardships and all -- for what it's done to shape me into the person I am today. It's time to savor the present - hardships and all - for its gift of the people and opportunities in my life today. It's time to just BE.

So, I challenge myself and I challenge all of you, to slow down, look around, enjoy the view and simply BE.






10 comments:

worthy said...

A wonderful thought Ann. I hope I can live up to that challenge - it's a pretty tough one. But when you do pause, and reflect, it's a great feeling xx

ssouth said...

Great post, Ann. I spent a little quality time with my rear view mirror today. The picture you took with your phone is incredible!

Christy said...

So very true. I have done the same thing. Always working on the next surgery, the next goal, the next test, etc. And - boom - Harlie's almost 3 already. What a delicate balance. Thanks for the challenge.

Susan said...

I too find it hard not to focus on what's next. Especially so in this life style with a medically complex child. But it is a challenge worth taking. I often worry I'll wake up one day and wonder where my life went. And can use all the reminders to stay mindful in the present. Thank you.

Rachel Marini said...

Beautiful. I so often need to be reminded to slow down, look around, and see all the blessings I take for granted. Sometimes a little change of perspective is all it takes. Love ya!
Rachel

Melisande said...

I like the Zen moment, Ann! I need it!

Ann said...

"Zen moment" .... Mel - you crack me up.

Stefano and Christina said...

so true...so true....

what great scenery!

xoxo

Katie said...

I admit I'm horrible at checking blogs but like to from time to time--I like yours but haven't been here for awhile. Thanks-I really needed this post.

Anonymous said...

Ann, Wonderful post! As always, so eloquently and beautifully put. ~Amanda