The brake light on my van has been flickering on and off for a couple of weeks now. My husband got up early this morning to have it looked at before the line got too long. When he brought it back, he stopped for a cup of coffee before heading to the office.
This is what I call living gently.
Someone asked me what I mean when I say I want to “Live Gently, Love Passionately”. The best way I can explain is to make room for the small things.
Our lives have become defined by packed schedules and frenetic activities that leave us beaten up and weary. We blur our moments until they run into each other. It’s hard to remember why we are doing what we are doing.
When older parents like me tell the newbies to cherish the moments, it’s our way of saying life goes by at breakneck speed all on it’s own. Grab up whatever moments you have and breathe together, even if only for a moment.
To live gently we drink coffee from a real cup, sitting across from each other instead of guzzling through a plastic lid in the car. To love passionately is to stop for five minutes to hear the heart of the one you share life with. It says “I don’t just choose you for this life, I choose you for this moment.”
Our children need to know this, our friends need to hear it and we need to experience it for ourselves.
The past ten days have been rough. Our daughter has been sick and consistently coughing through the night. It isn’t always the noise that keeps me awake. The stress of her over arching medical issues make me tired and staying home from school has given me a bit of cabin fever.
I’ve been asked “How do you do it?”
Weaving in the best moments wherever I can is just part of it. Valuing the simplest of things instead of always looking for the next big moment. The next big getaway, the next day off, the next holiday is out of our grip most of the time.
We don’t wait for Anniversaries to celebrate our love. Valentines is a big deal because everyday is a big deal. Ordinary life is woven with extraordinary chances to show you care.
We set the table, light candles and use the good dishes on ordinary days. We make the food look nice and taste good because every breath and taste is to be enjoyed.
My young friend lost her husband to cancer after just three years of marriage. Almost eighteen months of that were spent sickness, discouragement and dreaming of ordinary days. The past several months have been a mix of moving forward and grieving. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
Aimee hurts deeply because she loved Ben passionately.
These are the things a life well lived are built on. They are the moments that over shadow the pain. Woven through the hard places are the kind, generous, slow moments of simply breathing the same air as another human being.
They are the pieces that let forgiveness dissolve anger and peace deliver joy. The building blocks of seemingly mundane event become the foundation for the extraordinary lives we think about often.
Let today be just a piece of your extraordinary life. Give a smile, a gentle touch and extra time as the day becomes a wisp of air. Push away the things that really won’t matter to allow in those people that always will.
This post originally appeared at NRTODAY.COM