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Generous w/ TimeWhile watching my son's basketball game last week, I noticed a boy who had just finished playing and was sitting on the bleachers waiting to be picked up. Moments later a professional looking dad walked in with a little girl in a sparkly princess dress. The dad spotted his son and quickly rushed over to greet him. As the son stood up, the dad eagerly asked "how was the game?" to which the son replied "we won and I had the winning point!" Without hesitation, the dad, who was a few inches shorter than his son, reached up, grabbed his son's face, looked him right in the eyes and said "that's FANTASTIC!! Way to Go!!" This father was gleaming with radiant joy like I had never seen! He held his son in a warm embrace, patted him on the back and said "I'm so proud of you!" I could sense how much those words meant to the son even though his dad didn't see his amazing slam dunk in person! Nothing else mattered in that moment except praising his son for a game well played and sharing in his victory.

It was a loving Kodak moment I silently witnessed with great joy in my heart. As I sat there smiling to myself, it reminded me of how being in the moment and giving someone your undivided attention is one of the greatest gifts you can offer. I'm guilty of getting wrapped up in my busy life, barley having a free moment to myself by the end of the week. You put yourself on "autopilot" trying to multi-task everything you need to get done only to realize there aren't enough hours in one day. I'm here to tell you how important it is to STOP and smell the roses my friend.

Here's an example for my fellow pet lovers... my cat, Ms. Nala as we call her, was desperately trying to get my attention yesterday. Meowing from the time I woke up till after I dropped the kids off for school. Me being in "busy" mode, I brushed it off, told her she was fine and thought "what a stupid cat". Well, turns out I was the stupid one, the poor thing was trying to tell me she needed water... bowl was completely dry. I felt awful because Nala is like one of my kids and I had totally neglected her needs. Needless to say, I was kicking myself for not taking two minutes to stop and get her a clean, fresh bowl of water. Fortunately, pets are a little more forgiving than humans so she graciously accepted my love and apology... Yes, I even say sorry to my pet when I'm wrong.

So if you're walking around saying you're too busy to create some meaningful pockets of time for people... my reply is bullshit! You have full ability to make time for people who are important to you. They are a blessing in your life and should be treated as such. Tell them and more importantly show them how much you value them.

The bottom line is giving your undivided attention to someone doesn't cost anything and usually means more to the recipient than you may realize. Most know I preach about taking time for people yet I have often found myself in the following situations & maybe you can relate to these too:

  • Your little one is tugging at your leg and you say "just a minute" which translates to "I don't hear you"... drop what you're doing & listen to your child. They are only young once then you blink and they're all grown up. Enjoy them because the quality time you spend together is what they'll remember most.
  • You're busy checking FB at dinner, barely looking up at the person who's cleared their calendar btw to join you. Put your cell phone away & interact w/ your guest. Not only is it rude and disrespectful but their time is precious too. You may be the one friend they need most. Lend a caring ear, laugh with them & okay... maybe take one selfie because I know you will anyway.
  • Schedule a visit with your grandparent... you know the one you've been putting off for weeks because you have better things to do. Time with your elders can create such sweet memories and teach you valuable life lessons yet these folks are easily overlooked or forgotten. Seeing your face is often the brightest part of their day and once they're gone you'll never get that time back.
  • Make date night a priority with your significant other. Block out special time for the one you love on a regular basis. Maybe you're complacent and don't feel this is necessary; however, staying connected emotionally & physically are key elements to a lasting relationship. If no one makes an effort in this department, neither of you will feel wanted.
  • Writing a thank you note for the thoughtful gift you received has been on your to-do list for weeks but you keep putting it off OR a friend called to say "hi" and check on you but you can't seem to squeeze in a return call. Those few minutes you spend showing appreciation or catching up with someone can be the one gesture that completely turns their day around. Acknowledge those around you when they make an effort to show you they care.

Living in a fast paced world that demands your time can be challenging. Practice slowing down and embrace opportunties that honor living in the the present. Breathing in life with the people you love is not only time well spent but also creates cherished memories. We could all take a lesson from the dad at the basketball game but I think Ferris Bueller said it best "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

 Michelle~

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