Saturday, March 19, 2011
Who doesn’t adore a love song? Maybe we all enjoy them in a different style, but the fact remains that someone is gushing out compliments to us through our stereo speakers. How can we resist? The truth of the matter is people who actually know us, possibly live with us, and can claim us as friend aren’t generally big on breaking into song when we enter a room. Sure they know all that is great about us. They know the heights of our talent, the scope of our potential. They’ve seen us at our best. They should be singing. Unfortunately those same people, the ones who know us best, have also seen us at our worst. Though we can impress them for a few scant moments, it will just become a dot on a timeline to them. And really if any Joe Schmo on the street cornered us and broke into ballads it wouldn’t mean as much.
No, in a world where we brush our teeth side by side, wash our make-up off, brush out our glorious hair-do’s, and climb into bed in our most cozy, garish pajamas it seems less likely as we age that anyone will burst out in song around us. In fact, we rarely look at the people we’re closest to. We don’t search for the best in them, but rather take them as they are… take them for granted as they are. My husband grew a mustache a few years ago. It was several days along before I blinked in conversation, leaned back with a creased brow, and asked, “Are you growing a mustache?”
It’s all tangled up in a concept called mindfulness. Our minds are so busy mulling over the unimportant that we completely miss the moment we are in. We’re too busy in our heads to observe or appreciate. Do you remember childhood? Time clicked by slowly. It took forever after Valentines Day for Easter to arrive. Fast forward, and I mean fast, to now. We sit around the Christmas tree scratching our heads as we open presents thinking, Whoa it feels like last Christmas was just last week. Where did my year go? Our year was probably spent chewing gummy thoughts of worry, day dreaming, and anticipation.
Mindfulness is the skill of living in the moment. In fact, if living is a verb, the only way you can do it is to be present in a moment. We were better at doing this when we were children. Some moments we felt too acutely, such as any that would inspire, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Much like gulping down your favorite dessert without running your tongue over it and savoring the bites, your life can pass by with little flavor. At some point we have to shock ourselves into a mindful state so we can see a world around us that will make us want to compose love songs. Just because nobody is singing to us, doesn’t mean there aren’t songs to be sung.
The trick is to look at the people around you and realize you’re only with them for a given time on earth before one or the other of you passes on to a different life. Each moment is temporary by nature. It’s with slight panic that I grab my youngest child each morning and swing her around in my arms saying, “Today is the very last day you’ll be this big.” Treasure up moments on purpose. Study the faces of the people you love. Pick up the phone and really listen to someone’s voice.
If you admire something about someone, sing your love song. If you’re not the breaking into song type, shell out a compliment. You don’t need to gush. In fact it can just be a smile; something that says, “You’re easy on the eyes,” or, “I’m not at all opposed to being in your vicinity.” What makes a moment wonderful and memorable are the eyes you’re seeing it with. I hope they’re smiling-love song eyes.