The time of your life

Ben sleeping... half on the soapstone warmer, half off

I grew up in a family that seemed to focus on what wasn’t there, what wasn’t right, what wasn’t good enough. There was never enough time, money, love, happiness. My parents rushed from the moment they got up in the morning until they went to bed at night, and we fell into that way of life too. No one sat down and gave anyone undivided attention. My parents were burdened by their children, burdened by the demands of their jobs, burdened by the world, and they dealt with this by always being busy and preoccupied. We learned not to ask for things for fear of being met with those exasperated eyes.

My parents still rush and still fear that there isn’t enough. Even though they are both in their 80’s, have plenty of money and don’t have anything that they must do. Before my mother even gets to an event, she is thinking about being back home. Back at home, she is wondering what she will do with all of her time. I find myself rushing too. Not so much in the outer world, but in my mind and I have been working to change this.

So what if I grew up in this kind of home? So what if much of society does this? If I want a quality of life that feels deep and rich and meaningful, I won’t find it in a rush. Rushing from one moment to the next is at best a bad habit, at worst a way to miss my life.

One of my plans for this weekend is to sit down and really read and absorb each comment that was posted yesterday. What about taking this weekend and making a decision to be as present as possible in the moment that you are in? To notice, if you find yourself rushing to the next moment (even if only in your mind) that you are missing out on what is happening now. There is a line in a song by Green Day that I love, “Its something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you have the time of your life!”…and that time is right now…this moment…this is your life….don’t miss it.

The video below is so incredible. It is a slow motion video (captured by a security camera) of an owl flying directly at the camera. It is 59 seconds long and you will be very glad that you watched it. (thank you Sally for sending it!)

37 thoughts on “The time of your life

  1. The thought that pops into my head this morning as I read your post, Mary, is spontaneity. And I learned that from my Dad, too. For me, spontaneity balances life’s everyday routine with living in the moment. There is a lot to be said about spontaneity. The willingness to leave plans behind and indulge in something different, exciting, unexpected, and yes, unpredictable! To set aside the routine rush of the day and do something spontaneous! And oh, the messages of this wise owl in slow motion! What a meaningful image…Sloooowwwww dooownnn…I love it! Thank you Sally and Mary!

  2. The video of the owl is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    I enjoyed your post. I think many of us can relate to this. I came from a family of divorce. My mother lived mostly inside herself unless she was at work. When she was home, she had her nose in a book. I have gotten my love of reading from her. Today, most parents are very present in their kid’s lives. My daughter and her husband are great parents. I wonder if this will rub off on their kids.

  3. My mom is the same way your mom is, and she’s 94. The habit is so ingrained that, although she pays lip service to slowing down, she just cannot do it. Thanks to your postings, Mary, I am making a concerted effort to make sure that I connect with as many moments of my own life as I can.

    The film of the owl plays right into this. By slowing down the film, you have time to see the subtleties of the flight….the angle of the wings and how they change, the wind currents changing the feathers, etc. Look at how much we miss by taking the fast lane.

  4. Mary

    I believe there are days that we have the odd time we are just like your mom. For myself when my mom was dying in 2006, she had a year to live and being an only child I had a lot on my plate and because I took all the pressure on myself I ended up with Shingles for 6 months. At this point in my life since having our fire and losing pretty well everything, including all our dear pets, just over a year ago I have come to realize that just living your life and enjoying each moment and each day is what you should be doing, as each day is a gift from God. I so enjoy your comments as they are so enlightening to me. Many of our pictures survived the fire as they were in containers and it is wonderful to just look back on those. Your comments always help someone and this time it was me. God bless you this day, your hubby and all your beautiful pet family.

    • Lindy F., my heart got heavy reading of all you’ve had to deal with these past few years. I am sending you much love and light to make peaceful this day for you. Many blessings.

      • Linda, I have been thinking about you all day, and reading Suzanne’s comments again tonight – she offered love and light! even though reading your post made her heart feel heavy! I can so relate to that, – our hearts sometimes just feel heavy when we have nowhere to go, no one to connect with, there is simply a physical heaviness. But a lightness of heart? I hope you will find it here, coming each morning for a sip of Mary’s elixir of happiness and hope. What a welcomed start to the day – Be happy Linda! Love, Susan

  5. WOW-WOW-WOW. Thank you for sharing the owl video. Loved it.

    I found myself reading quickly through your post- anxious to get on with my day- then as I was realizing what your post was about- found myself S-L-O-W-I-N-G down. Thank you for the reminder. 😉

    • Barbara! Funny coincidence, – the spacing of the capatilized SLO-WING down left WING! on the next line, the owl’s WING came to my mind! The video is just thrilling in its every detail and Mary, you sure made a great choice in buying an owl mug to celebrate White Feather’s First Anniversary. I am going to slow down this weekend by ‘baby-sitting’ my younger son’s two dogs while he and his girlfriend visit friends near Phoenix for Super Bowl Sunday. Not only will it be a slow down Sunday for me, I am looking forward to it being a silent retreat (well, you would catch me talking to the dogs if you could be a fly on the wall!) but no tv, no radio, just quiet time with his Frankie and Miss Pippi Bean. A peaceful weekend to all!

  6. I grew up on a farm and in a time/society where it was rare – I was raised by my father. It was he, who taught me to slow down, to appreciate the here and now and to recognize that each moment is precious for it won’t come again. I am so thankful for those lessons now. Loved the video of the owl. We have a small farm and last week just after sundown we were entering our gate and there sat a small owl. I was certain it would fly away but we stopped and watched it for awhile as it watched us. They are incredible creatures, such wise eyes.The own in the video is much larger, more powerful but still the wise all seeing eyes.

  7. The beauty of the motion of that owl! Balanced,capable, focused, intent,very in the moment of sticking that landing! Nature is wonderful, and we need to enjoy it for what it is- LIFE!

  8. Your post today really hit home. I continously rush from one thing to the next because there is always so much that needs to be done. I don’t like living my life like that. Your words are an inspiration to me to stop and smell the roses and focus on the here and now; not what is next on the “to do” list. Thank you for your daily posts and words to help and encourage us to live our lives to the fullest.

  9. Again, you get us to thinking……I find myself doing the rush thing, when there is no hurry and no importance to the things on my to do list for the day. I think they are mostly a distraction. Have difficulty sitting still without hopping up to do the next unimportant or unnecessary thing. Slowing down is certainly on my “to do” list and giving myself permission to do so. Things don’t have to be grand or important to make me feel worthwhile. I have difficulty giving myself permission to relax and not be doing something UNTIL my distraction stuff is done. Definitely a work in progress.

    I’m glad you are going to take the time to sit and slowly read all of yesterday’s posts. I was wondering how you would be able to absorb all that was shared and conveyed yesterday. I found myself going back and re-reading. I did not want to give short shrift to any of the heartfelt messages.

    I found an interesting coincidence – the man who sits next to me at my Course in Miracles study group is the godson is Neville Goddard. My friend is Neville and his middle name is Blake after William Blake (Neville Goddard quotes him a great deal). I had not heard of Neville Goddard until Mary quoted him.

    Some sharing:
    This movie will be shown on the OWN network sometime this year. I saw it in 2005 and have seen it many times since and listened to the people who were interviewed. Exposed me to many powerful thinkers. Be on the lookout for it. I loved it.
    http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=eefcb8bae87b52433f65b62bb&id=68d142601b&e=1a82fc5e6f

    Additional Shaker information:
    This is our city’s centennial year. Here are some things regarding the song “Simple Gifts.”

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51887497/shaker.pdf

    The movie of the owl was fabulous.

    See you all later………

    • Mary Solomon, thank you, thank you! Our flock offers a treasure trove of resources! Can’t wait to check out the show you linked to Oprah – and the lovely forever Simple Gifts!

      • I know you like the Shaker stuff – that one was for you!
        All the people in the video are Shaker Heights residents – one relative is even it plus all the librarians etc.
        I think you will also like “One the Movie” – really interesting people are interviewed in it.

      • Thank you again Mary! I was about to turn off the computer for the night and tuck in, but seeing your reply makes me feel almost like when we were all young girls, passing notes in between classes! At least I sure do remember doing so! So thank you for this ‘cyber hug in the hall!’ – Did anyone else hear this song today after Mary’s post, Simon and Garfunkel, “Slow down, you move too fast, gotta make the morning last,

        Feelin’ Groovy!

        Nightie night all! (and remember the weekend’s motto: slow down!)

  10. Finally…to know that I have no desire to rush…is to know myself truly. Thanks for bringing that to the surface for me.

    Reminds me of a Jackson Browne song-

    I sitting down by the highway, down by that highway side
    Everybodys goin somewhere
    Ridin just as fast as they can ride
    I guess they got a lot to do
    Before they can rest assured
    Their lives are justified
    Pray to God for me, babe, he can let me slide

    And he does….

  11. I love the owl Mary. He was sure fun to watch slow motion and I replayed it several times. One of my favorite poems is “The House by the Side of the Road” by Sam Walter Foss. This is one verse- “Let me live in a house by the side of the road where the race of men go by – The men who are good and the men who are bad, as good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner’s seat nor hurl the cynic’s ban – Let me live in the house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.” I have always had this poem on my dinning room wall and I bet other’s here do as well. Let the world slow down and be a friend to man.

    • Myrna, what a perfect poem to go alongside the message in today’s blog. I, too, have always loved this poem. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Myrna, I am copy/pasting this right now! It is what is SO wrong with television and all the overpaid analysts and so called pundits – if only they would sit by the side of the road and see the plank in their own eye, before casting a stone! Thank you for the source of this quote!

  12. Could not resist adding this from The Daily Om

    February 3, 2012
    Fellowship with a Purpose
    Starting a Group

    Starting a group with like-minded people can help you feel grounded and connected to what matters in your life.

    Human beings, by their very nature, love to gather. Yet as much as we crave community, the rigors of real life frequently interfere with our efforts to come together with likeminded individuals. For this reason, fellowship is crucial to humanity’s wellbeing now more than ever. Most towns and cities play host to a variety of small groups that allow people to congregate purposefully, but that does not mean we should not consider founding our own. When people with similar interests, ideals, or aspirations come together as a group, a community is built that provides a new dimensionality to our earthly experiences.

    The formation of a group is like an invitation welcoming all those desiring companionship and camaraderie into a circle of support. You may feel driven to found a group for women, healers, knitters, readers, writers, or political activists. Rules need only be a part of your communal experience if you find that level of organization appealing, and it matters little whether your group is large, goal-oriented, or structured. When you have a firm vision of the group you wish to bring into being, hang posters, reach out to acquaintances, and get in touch with similar groups to attract participants. Groups of likeminded individuals are to some extent inherently exclusionary, being that they serve as a supportive environment in which people who have something in common can gather. Yet such groups can also transcend the boundaries that might otherwise keep people apart, The group you create will likely attract people from many different ethnic, cultural, and spiritual backgrounds, a! nd if you make these individuals feel equally welcome, your group will grow and thrive as a result.

    Try to ward off any discouragement you feel when those intrigued by your group’s purpose are not ready to contribute actively. They are likely waiting to see how it evolves and whether you are truly committed to serving as its heart and soul. If the group you have founded is a positive influence in the life of even a single individual, it is well worth it. Your intention to bring people together will be the seed that develops into a source of nurturance and community that stays true to its purpose long after its initial inception.

  13. Sure sounds like our WFF flock and our Mary, does it not? Looks like we got it right!
    Thanks for posting this, Mary Solomon.

  14. Oh thank you for sharing the owl video, magnificent. We have had several owls, that I have spotted on and around our property. My boys several years ago (well actually still do) love to hunt for owl pellets in our woods. They found an enormous pile by a pine tree, looked up, and saw four baby owls looking down on them. What a treat – we felt blessed. Happy, Happy Anniversary to you – one post late (but not really!).

  15. As I grew up it seemed to be an ongoing challenge to see who could come up with a better complaint/moan! It took me a long time to realize that I actually didn’t want to play the family game but how great I felt to be off that no-so-merry go round.
    Owls are one of my favourite things. Well I have quite a lot and almost all have feathers or fur!
    Best wishes Mary…I love your blog

  16. I don’t remember where I heard this but I agree wholeheartedly! “The greatest gift we can give is our purity of attention or presence.” The world is full of miracles and blessings and we can suffer from “attentional blindness” and miss them all. Have a great weekend Mary

  17. @ Ms Lindy F. I am so sorry for all your loss and pain. I will remember you in my prayers tonight.
    My daughter and her little family live in a hurry-up world. I think they all see Gramma as rather strange. They say I’m a slowsky! When we eat supper together I look at their empty plates and I’m not even half way there. They jump out of my car, shoot a few basketball hoops and are in the house while I’m still fiddling with my car keys.
    The owl is magnificent !

  18. Thanks for this thoughful post, Mary. Many years ago, I decided to “own” my life. For the most part, I’ve found the wonder, the miracles, and great joy. On occasion, I’ve slipped back into an old pattern, one from my younger days. Doing so always leaves me feeling cranky and out of sorts. It isn’t ever long before I reclaim what is rightly mine and no one elses. I am the sole author of my journey.

  19. Thank you for this reminder. My mother was a ‘rusher’ too, she was always late. I had a student come into my library one day who said, “I hate my life, I’m always rushing.” She was 17. Seemed so sad to me. I’ve learned to slow down and my adult children have helped me do that as they set an example by living slowly 🙂
    I had an injured owl when I was a girl. It was a magical experience. I loved the film clip. Breathtaking.

  20. That video was incredible — imagine, each one of those feathers, turning, ruffling, moving this way and that, serves a purpose and makes it possible for that owl’s flight, for it being so precise. Thank you for that moment of wonder! 🙂

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