Monday, August 29, 2011

Learning to Savor is Worth the Effort

I recently posted about words that I have installed on the walls in our bathroom and living room to remind myself and, hopefully, to define myself.  I have added another word to my personal lexigon, one which may be most important to those of us who now understand that we don't (and never really did) have all the time in the world to decide what is important and what kind of lives we want to live.

The new word is "savor".  I'm adding it to the other words -- believe, learn, listen, touch, dance, sing, relax, imagine, touch, trust, teach, dream, and "enjoy", which is listed as a synonym in the dictionary.

Maybe it's my age, but "to savor" means much more to me than "to enjoy."  It's probably because the primary definition of "to enjoy" in the dictionary I consulted was "to have a good time."

I remember being asked, when I was a child, if I had a good time at a birthday party or a school picnic.  The answer was usually "yes", but I didn't have the capacity to describe what it was that made the event notable.  (This was before today's often outlandishly expensive children's parties, which will be the subject of a future post.)  If nothing went wrong at the parties I attended (such as falling off the swings, or being chosen last for one of the games); if my friends were there and the food was good, then I had a good time.

"Savoring" an event, or even the daily routine of our lives, puts much more responsibility on our adult selves, but the reward is much more satisfying than simply "enjoying ourselves" or "having a good time."  Savoring implies that we take the time and employ our senses to seek out exactly what it is that flavors the event -- what it is that makes it special.  Call this mindfulness if you will, and we are told that the more mindful we are, the happier our lives will be.

"Savoring" isn't limited to an expensive cruise or a once-in-a-lifetime gathering; it can be experienced with a really outstanding cup of tea.  It's a practice, and it requires practice.  I love to hear and read about people who have mastered the art of living and I believe that savoring each positive moment is a part of their lives that they have cultivated.  I appreciate the examples they set for the rest of us, especially when I note that the "good life" they demonstrate is within the grasp of most of us.

What do you savor in your life?


1 comment:

Michelle said...

I savor the rare moments when the house is quiet... Or noisy afternoons at the park with the kids... Afternoons when I'm out of the house running errands and in no hurry to get back...


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