I came back from Italy a changed man. The time away from work in a completely different, unhurried environment, spoke to my long and unrealized desire to take more time to appreciate all the good things in life…especially the little things. I think the epiphany occurred when, in Tuscany, Judy wanted to take a nap. I grabbed my book and a glass of wine to read in the shaded garden. As I sat down, I never opened the book, instead simply enjoying the soft breeze, the view of the vineyard and the hills beyond, the taste of the wine, and the sound of the bees buzzing and the birds chirping. I was on sensory overload and I simply smiled and took it all in.
In the ensuing weeks, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the joy of simply taking my time. For example, I used to “need” the three or more cups of coffee that came out of the drip machine each morning; the timer preset to ensure the brewing process was complete around my usual wake-up time. Now, I enjoy taking the time to brew the espresso and froth the milk just so for a cup of cappuccino. Then I take the time to sip and enjoy the blend while working on a crossword puzzle.
The same can be said for cooking and eating. We’ve tried hard over the last several years to cook with mostly fresh, unprocessed food. We’re doing that more and more. After learning an easy way to make fresh pasta while we were in Italy, Judy and I kneaded the flour and eggs twice this past week, opting to spend a few minutes rolling out the dough and cutting the strips into fettucine, eschewing the store-bought brands and their preservatives. We’re also taking more time to savor every bite!
Plagued by ingrown hairs, I finally went back this week to shaving with an old-fashioned safety razor. Brushing olive oil and shea butter shave soap on my face with the badger-hair brush simply feels luxurious. The weight of the German-made Merkur razor feels good in my hand as I carefully scrape away my morning beard. It takes twice as much time as with the five-bladed expensive razors I used before, but it’s totally worth it.
It’s the little things. It’s stopping the movie to step outside to watch a glorious sunset or sit on the patio to take in the lightshow of a distant thunderstorm. It’s pausing on your walk or jog to stop and smell the roses. It’s getting off the road to watch an eagle make lazy circles in the sky as he looks for prey.
I’m working just as hard, but I’m taking the time to enjoy the process. I’ve been pounding away on keyboards since learning touch typing in the seventh grade, but often I’ll pick up one of my favorite pens and a yellow legal pad to draft an outline, sketch out an idea, or build a mind map.
In our hurried world it’s more important than ever to take your time on the things that matter most, and sometimes those things are those that take us back to nature, to simpler times, and to healthier lifestyles. Traveling often gives us new perspectives on these things, which is why it’s at the top of our priority list.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Take your time to savor the moment every now and then.
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