The most effective mind-shifting, gratitude-awakening thought I have is when I ask myself to seriously consider how many more times I will have to do the thing right in front of me. I remember reading this thought somewhere where the author realistically assessed just how many more nights like this one would you see a sunset that makes your jaw drop? I can’t remember how many nights I watched my kids splashing in the tub and didn’t take the time to share the sheer joy of their playfulness. I couldn’t imagine then, that those days would disappear as they have already.
Last night, when I got home tired and was facing the preparation of dinner, I used this thinking to wake myself up to the gift of making dinner for my family. Truthfully there aren’t that many days left of sitting down with my kids together at the end of the day. Once you stop taking the time for granted and dive into the task as though it might be the last time you get to do it, everything else about it changes.
The food itself, the colors of yellow pepper, the taste of fresh-cut tomatoes, the smell of cooking fish in butter all feel like something I never really saw before.
This mental gymnastics turns stressful situations on their head, too. On my way to my office, I remembered this idea again and wondered to myself, how many more days will I get to work this Good Clean Love thing, I stopped feeling stressed and started feeling lucky that I get to do it at all. Bringing ourselves to the recognition of how brief the interludes of our life really are is the best wake-up call I know to love our life and the people in it better and more.