Take a moment. Pay attention.

Those of us who live in populated areas know that life moves quickly. Wake up at 6 am. Get ready. Feed the dog. Skip breakfast, because you’re running late. Stand in line at Starbucks to wait on your venti coconut latte with sugar free vanilla. Then rush to work. By noon, you’re standing in line again at the local eatery across the street, counting down the minutes left on your lunch break. It’s 3 o’clock and time to pick up the kids from school.

On your way home you stop by the store for groceries. It’s 6 pm and it’s time to cook dinner. You’re eating by 6:30. Dishes are being washed by 7:15. The kids are in bed by 8. That gives you enough time to work on a project until 10. Then you’re off to bed because tomorrow you have another busy day ahead of you. Allotting a moment for introspective meditation or taking a nap in the grass is great, but most don’t have the time. Before you know it, 10 years have gone by in a monotonous blur.

I don’t have children, or a full time job, but my week is booked with activities and I don’t know if my introverted nature can handle it all at once. I’m dreading the extroversion, and trying to pack all my rest in one sitting. It’s upon reflecting in silence, sipping from my mug, that I find a solution to my affliction. Life won’t whizz by in a blur if I turn off my auto pilot. We take the same steps, and absent-mindedly perform the same tasks, because we’re so used to them. I’ve resolved that I’m going to try to be more aware of my actions and the sensations they create. Life’s about the simple pleasures. The sweet taste of honeyed milk, the enticing scent of freshly shampooed hair, the satisfaction of opening the microwave just before it beeps, the comfort of bare feet on a shaggy rug, the feeling of dipping your hands in rice, catching a whiff of dew covered grass, the gratification of having every stoplight turn green as you drive by, the delightful feeling of a kiss on the forehead… These are the moments that make the day-to-day drudgery of city life bearable.

They’re the moments that make it worth it. All we have to do is pay attention.