I remember, a few years back, a tv game show – something to do with grocery shopping. However it was played, those details escape me at the moment, the winner was given a time limit and a shopping cart. They were given free reign of the entire store and could fill their shopping cart with whatever they wanted. I LOVED watching what the winner decided to throw in his/her shopping cart!
Some were very strategic and obviously had come with a game plan, in case they won.
Others were willy-nilly and basically ran down each aisle dumping shelf-loads into their cart.
Still others started with a plan and then abandoned it under the pressure of the ticking clock and the yells of contestants offering advice on what they should be doing. The winner just started grabbing whatever!
When the buzzer was just about ready to sound-off throughout the store, the winner raced with his/her cart to the check-out lane. Their winning items were tallied for the final celebration.
Again, some were elated because they got exactly what they had worked for. Others, the willy-nillies, were often surprised by items in their cart and there was a disheartened momentary look when they realized they’d taken precious time and valuable space in their cart for something they didn’t really want.
This game show story came to me as I was musing over the phrase, Peace of Pause.
In January of this year, I made a goal to be more intentional each day, to stop and observe what was in front of me or around me. It was a tough discipline to incorporate into my life. I am a person who naturally lives in the future, anticipating the next big event. I’m a planner and get excited about the plans I’ve made for months down the road. When there’s an accomplishment achieved, I don’t typically stop to celebrate, I’m on to the next adventure or project. I can’t wait to meet up with people and visit and while visiting, I’m already thinking about the next person I will soon be seeing. I’m a visionary, a dream caster. It’s how I’m wired.
But at 60, I’ve realized there is much to be enjoyed “in the moment”… and I must PAUSE in order for the enjoyment to be mine. Look a person in the eyes when conversing, intentionally listen to the words they are speaking. An adventure? Pause to be aware of the sound, sights, and feelings elicited by the actual adventure.
A couple of weeks ago, my year’s practice of finding the Peace of Pause, culminated with a very special, endearing trip. It was planned months ago, like January! I flew to NC to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter and her family and my Mom and Dad. The intentional awareness and immersing myself into all the activities, filled my soul, including those intense conversations with a 3 year old and 1 year old.
My Mom and I flew home to PA the day after Thanksgiving. Can’t remember the last time I flew with my Mom! And big thanks to Dad for your blessing over this trip. We were beginning an adventure that would last 9 days. After some time in PA, she and I drove up to NH to see my sister and her family. Five hours in the car of uninterrupted time together – a precious gift.
And then….we were off on the Mother-Daughter trip we had been planning since the beginning of the year. Nantucket, MA. Four fabulous days together building memories, all mine to keep forever in my heart. Our time together was everything I’d hoped for and more. Laughter, hugs, prayers, conversations, reminiscing. So many pictures. Not for everyone else to see within 10 minutes, but just for my Mom and sister and me.
All my practicing over the year, all the discipline I’d worked on to be very present, culminated in this trip. You see, I had a plan. I knew what I wanted to put in my cart. I didn’t want there to be any regrets at the “check-out.”
And there wasn’t.
This Christmas season, I challenge you to find the Peace of Pause, to be intentional about what you are putting in your cart, how you are spending the moments in your day. There is a time limit for all of us and there will be a check out. You have the power and ability to choose what you will pick up along the way.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may the Peace of Pause be yours in abundance as we close out 2022.
Founder and Executive Director