Sitting on a quiet Sunday morning, catching up on some reading after a busy week, I ran across this article published in the monthly ISABC newsletter. It really resonated for me. I suspect many of you too will be able to relate to this lesson in savouring those golden moments – and perhaps take time for some today.
On Saturday my 2 and a half-year old twins and I went to Maplewood Farm. It was a glorious autumnal day and nature gleamed as we kicked our way through the fallen golden and red leaves. It would not have been my first choice for passing a sun-soaked afternoon; I would have preferred a brisk hike up a mountain to gaze over the magnificence of Howe Sound before tackling my ever-burgeoning list of things to do – both for work and at home. Instead the afternoon was spent waiting patiently for the peacock to raise its tail (it didn’t), petting some inordinately tolerant rabbits and staring in to the deep dark soulful eyes of some cows.
But it was the ducks that provided me my life lesson for the day. Together we sat for over half an hour immersed in the duck pond antics. We noted that water does indeed slip off a duck’s back; that they can paddle with their feet lifting their entire bodies out of the water; that they are quite quarrelsome and constantly peck at each other… and that they didn’t like our crackers. And we talked intently about what it must be like to be a duck. Time froze: together we savoured and celebrated being solely absorbed in the moment. It was a half hour transformed by consciously taking time to notice the ordinary things about of the passage of life.
As I walked away exhilarated, I wondered how many similar magical moments like those slip by unnoticed. I was reminded again of how often ‘busyness’ frames our lives, conversations and interactions – both professional and personal. We were however in those 30 golden moments immensely ‘busy’ – learning, thinking, observing: indeed the act of living second-by-second can be rich with quiet reflecting busyness.
This newsletter has a focus on female leaders and their issues. As a woman leader, one of my goals this year is to endeavour to shift my language and outlook away from time scarcity to time abundance – it won’t be easy as habits die hard. And each day I am committing to at least 30 minutes of savouring the extraordinary ordinary moments that fill my day – no split attention, diversions or multi-tasking.