When I was 18 and at the end of my first year at university I broke up with my high school sweetheart; it was awful. I remember sitting on the floor of the spare room in my parents’ house and going through the items I stored at their home, placing any reminder of the relationship in one box (to be disposed of) and any item of his (to be returned) in another. I sobbed, somewhat uncontrollably, the entire time. Although my mother had hated this man, I’m now amazed by the compassion she showed me whilst I was in the process of removing any semblance of his memory from my possessions. A few weeks later I turned 19 and my mother gave me a compact disk with the single “I hope you dance” by Lea Ann Womack (a popular country singer in the ‘States). While I’m not a fan of the genre of music from which it came (country) or the artist, the ideals embodied in the song resonated with me.
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance….I hope you dance.
The song will forever remind me of my mother, that and the aspirations she has had for me; and, indeed, many mothers, worldwide, have for their daughters.
Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder
wonder (ˈwən-dər) n.
a : a cause of astonishment or admiration : marvel b : miracle 2 : the quality of exciting amazed admiration 3 a : rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience (wonder. 2013. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved
July 9, 2013)
Sometimes we get so caught up in our day-to-day routines, that we forget to stop and reflect on the simple beauties and pleasures in our lives. The last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of hosting two friends of mine and it’s reminded me of what a lucky woman I am, both for the great friends I’ve been blessed with, as well as the opportunities I have had to travel and live overseas.
The first times you dip your feet in a new sea, climb a different mountain, and fall in love with another country or culture are special; awe inspiring, really, and I’ve had the opportunity to do so many times.
What a great life.
I’m not always the most articulate writer; I’ll be the first to admit this. So what was the purpose of this post? To remind myself (and all of you reading this) to:
Stop. And. Smell. The. Roses.
olive trees, lavender, or whatever foliage you may encounter on life’s journey.
There are so many days when I find myself, even in the beautiful city of Rome:
- Tired at the end of the work day
- Fed up by rainy weather plaguing Rome currently
- Annoyed by the tourists creating barricades through the street
- Frustrated by my lack of language skills
- Craving dill pickles (By god, I will find them or make them myself!)
- But strangely satisfied
Even on my most frustrating days I’m trying to stop for just a few moments and enjoy this chaos I refer to as my day-to-day and smell the fresh fruit and vegetables from the stand down the corner.
No one ever comments here, and that’s fine but I really would love to hear about all of you. What makes you stop? What inspires awe and wonder in your day-to-day?