Saturday, January 23, 2016

Week 3 - Savor the Moment

My usual mantra is Carpe Diem, or "Sieze the Day," but today I'm going with "Savor the Moment." This morning I spent some time reading through this infographic on the benefits of savoring. There's plenty of advice in positive psychology to "live in the moment," and even the infographic includes "focusing on the present moment."

However, the infographic also recommends reminiscing on happy memories and anticipating things we're looking forward to in the future.

I've done a lot of thinking about the balance between "doing" and "saving memories" with photographs, journals, scrapbooks, or blogging. Isn't it the "doing" that's important? If I'm spending all this time "saving the memories" and then later reflecting on them, is that taking time away from the "doing"?

Another piece of advice is to share things that make us happy, to ruminate on happy memories. For me, not only does "saving memories" allow me to go back later and re-live that happy memory, but it reminds me to create and look for happy moments.  It doesn't take too much time to record my memories if I'm not too picky about the photos and even though it's a little embarrassing to write a blog post in which the photos and writing are low-quality, I comfort myself in knowing that hardly anyone reads my blog anyway!

I've experienced so many happy moments (once I started being aware of them) that it's hard to decide which to write about; I'm going to settle on the highlights of my trip to Phoenix last week. Though the trip started as a business trip in which I was teaching a class, I extended it to last through the weekend, because I just love the warmth of Phoenix in January.

Some of the things I loved about my Phoenix trip:

* The wonderful warm 70 degree weather - warm enough to sit outside at a cafe patio to drink chai and write New Year's cards
* The friendly students in the class I taught - a couple even joined me for happy hour after class and we shared wine and gourmet bruschetta
* The welcoming group of people I met in Scottsdale as part of a Snowbirds Meetup
* Enjoying a short, easy run at sea level
* Watching Cinderella with the lovely woman, Julie, who hosted me in the airbnb I stayed at for the weekend
* Finding a Dollar Tree and surprising Julie with some treats when she got back from running a 10K
* Enjoying the serenity and the view from the top of Lookout Mountain
* Finding a Desert Canvas "Rebirth" Festival - This is probably the closest I'll ever get to a "Burning Man" type of event and it was kind of out of my comfort zone, but definitely colorful, artsy, and a unique experience! I joined in with some painting and drum-beating and just enjoyed people-watching and listening to the live music in that wonderful January Phoenix sunshine!
* Attending Mass in a beautiful church with a homily that suggested a life goal of making the world a better place

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