notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Savoring

This year has been stressful.

It seems no one can agree. And everyone not agreeing seems to have permission to be nasty about it. I wouldn’t say fuses are short. More like tempers have no fuse at all – they are just bursting into loud and flaming assh explosions everywhere.

Two images I saw this week summed it up pretty well.

First, I was at a very nice authors’ event and when I went into the restroom, this is what I saw:

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Here’s a closeup:

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Yes, it is a screen built into the sink. You can advertise here.

I thought that mobile ads at the gas pump were too much. But now I can see ads as I wash my hands after peeing. I am a bit surprised they did not mount it right at eye height in the stall.

This is not good. I am trying very hard (and failing) to unplug from the media.  It is all I can do to not bring my phone to the bathroom. I have gone back to the era of my childhood when I read the comet cans in the can. I can go (literally) for 30 seconds without looking at my phone. Do I really need screen time in the bathroom?

Here is the second image from this week:

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Hilarious, yes. Scary? Definitely.

Like in the image, I do not even know where to begin to manage my stress.

I have mentioned before that a good, knowledgeable friend told me that the solution does not include sticking my head in the sand. As an intelligent, caring person, I cannot just ignore the terrible things that are happening in the world. I need to participate in the world, not withdraw from it.

I will quote again what she said – because we all (especially me) need to be reminded:

“You are a citizen of this world,” she said, “and you have a duty to live in the world and understand what is happening. And deal with it. Participate.

“But you also have a duty to be kind to yourself. Your health – both mental and physical – requires you to protect yourself so that you will be strong enough to participate.

“So, yes, pay attention to the world – but not EVERY MINUTE.

“Take refuge.”

I need to pay attention to the world and also pay attention to me. I need to balance my stress with kindness. Kindness towards me.

I need pampering.

So do you.

I think pampering means paying attention.

Paying attention to the moment, the sensation, the immediate. The small detail, not the big picture.

I eat too fast. I pay no attention. I tell my dog as he’s scarfing down his kibble, “Savor!” But I hardly ever do. I have all but lost the satisfaction of the first crunch of the apple, the aroma of the pizza, the saltiness of the cracker, the slow dissolving of the chocolate. Can you eat peanuts one at a time? I find I have not even finished chewing before I am taking another. That poor peanut’s life is wasted because I did not even notice it.

But I am trying. Right this moment I am sipping tulsi tea. One tiny sip. It smells heavenly. the taste is exotic in my mouth. I am using a beautiful mug and it warms my hands. I am not drinking the tea to wash down a meal. The tea is an experience of its own. I respect it. I savor.

I shower too quickly. I pride myself on “in and out.” I soap up the shower scrubby and start at the top and quickly hit all my parts. Rinse off. Done.

Today I take a long slow shower. Yes, I use more hot water than I should. But, oh my, just for today. I stand under that shower head and feel the steamy spray on the top of my head, the back of my neck. The little rivers cascade down my arms. They splash onto the tiles. The soap smells like coconut. I savor.

I am reading a book for a friend’s book club. It’s a great book I read years before. So I can just skim through, and I am running out of time before the meeting. But I can read pretty quickly. I am a speed reader. I pride myself on this.

But I have a few credits on audible.com. So I download the book. I listen to someone else read to me. He reads so slowly.  He reads about terrible events and still it relaxes me. And when he reads about lovely events, I think, take your time. I’m savoring this.

My dog whines to go out. He is a good boy and if I say, “Hurry up, we don’t have time,” he’ll stop immediately and do his business. No fooling around, no dawdling. He’s efficient.

Today I let him sniff every tree, search under every bush. He stops and puts his nose to the air and smells the breeze. He listens for the movement of a bird. I listen too. I bend and give him a hug. He is soft and warm. He smells slightly of popcorn. I savor him.

Back to my tea.

It’s working.

I savor the day.

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42 Comments

  1. This is the my first contact with you and I say that logic is the best way to reach the understand matter.thanks.

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  2. That is one relaxed and contented dog Nancy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find I have to keep reminding myself to “slow down” no matter what I’m doing. It seems as if we are all going through life on fast forward, veering off here and there to explore things we probably should leave well enough alone. This was a thought-provoking post. I’m going to go make myself a cup of tea, sit on my chaise with my cat, and enjoy looking at the sun shining through the trees. “Savour” will be my word for the day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just don’t think you can really experience something when you race through it.

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  4. Doris Legere Kennedy

    How timely for so many today. I had gone off track for a few days and tried to respond to political posts. Futile, no one listens, just goes on the defense. My son told me to back off and go back to my personal beliefs, “No one cares about your take on things mom, so don’t go getting your blood pressure up. I want my mom around a long, long time.” He said this in response to my telling him my blood pressure was through the roof and my doctors orders were, “No more 24/7 news. Listen to classical and easy listening music” I took my wise MD’s advice, I sit and crochet my Prayer Shawls, listening to Frank Sinatra, while savoring my caramel iced coffee (just 1 a day) and thinking happy thoughts. Some day maybe you and I can spend a relaxing afternoon (tea & iced coffee in hand) and think the happy thoughts of our childhood together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We definitely need to do that.
      And just yesterday I got a phone call asking me to volunteer for a candidate I really believe in, and yet I still said no. I explained that I just needed to sit this one out, for my own health. But that won’t be forever. Just for now.

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      • Doris Legere Kennedy

        Good for you Nancy, take care of YOU first. You, your husband and your fur babies. Everything else will take care of itself. You and Tom come for a visit, we’ll relax by the pool and walk the sandy beaches together. Just what the doctor orders.

        Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely son! I have two of them: lucky us.

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  5. I have been reading your posts quite a while. I am Cindy. You may know me from my blog “Creation by Evolution”. I need to write in it more.

    Well anyway, I like 😊 your post 📮”Savor” . It’s something I like 😊 too.

    Cute dog 🐶!

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    • Thanks, Cindy, for taking some time to read my blog. My dog is Theo. He’s becoming an internet celebrity – much more so than I!

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  6. Every day I say I’m going to slow down, savor, take care of my body, say something nice to others at work, keep my house clean, read a good book. And then it’s the next day and the next and the next. I wind up doing one of five things I promised myself I would do, the other four disappearing into the fog behind me. But maybe tomorrow will be the day…for me and for you!

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    • You know, one out of five is not so bad. You reminded me of my college days. If I took five courses and got one really great professor with a great subject, I thought my semester was good enough.

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  7. Sundays are for savoring! I loved this post and can so relate — business travel last week, something I did for myself was orchestrate my flights to give me plenty of time ahead of the conference’s start and an early departure — and I savored the hotel room to myself, in-room dining, exploring a new-to-me city, and being able to get up & go as the speakers waned on … Savor on!! 🙂 MJ

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    • Back in my career days, I learned to do that too – and love it. If I was traveling someplace warm, I gave myself some beach time. If I went into the city, I had a hair appointment or a massage – or just walking around time. And I loved the alone time in the hotel room too.

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  8. We could learn a lot from watching our dogs and cats. We worry too much, it’s difficult to remove ourselves from the madness of our current World. Turning off Social media was a good start for me. I love Tulsi tea too and I intend to drink more of it whilst whiling away an hour or two with a good book and a quiet mind. Great post, thank you.

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    • My dog does not worry about the world – if he has playtime and a delicious supper, he is happy. He’s taught me a lot.

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  9. Donna W.

    You are such a gifted writer, Nancy. Even to the extent of inserting Theo’s thoughts and photos at just the right place to create just the right impact on the reader. I’m looking forward to your next novel; I can hardly wait for it!

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    • Thanks Donna! My book is going slow right now, but for my last book, I found that I was re-energized in November. So I am hoping to repeat.

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  10. Val

    It’s impossible to do anything good for anyone else, to be there for anyone else, to give anything to the world if you don’t put yourself first at least some of the time. And I agree – there’s far too much stuff coming at us. This is the reason I left Facebook some months ago, couldn’t tolerate all the excess. And I’ve since been limiting the amount of news I read or watch: just enough to stay informed, no more. Slowing down is good, it’s relaxing and helps to stir the creative juices.

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    • I am trying hard to break my social media addiction. There’s nothing worse than Twitter to make my blood pressure soar. I actually ran errands without my phone the other day – it was surprisingly difficult, but I did not collapse and neither did the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Doris Legere Kennedy

        Dad always said “Pay yourself first” not only monetarily, but in looking toward your own needs. You can’t help anyone else if your not in the right place yourself. You always give me such direction, especially with this blog. Thanks dear friend

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      • Val

        I don’t have the problem of the phone – haven’t got a mobile. Unfortunately I need one as my bank seems now not to run properly without access to text messages… It’s horrendous, isn’t it – all this being forced on us. I left Twitter but most because I couldn’t think of anything to say in such a short space allowed. I had wondered about rejoining to read a few accounts, but possibly not. I think the only way to properly break a social media addiction is to delete the accounts. You know that blogging is also ‘social media’? I don’t think I could get rid of this.

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  11. That screen on t he sink is a bit much but then we have adds on the toilet stall door about bladder control and such. I would love to colour to relieve stress but my hand shakes so much it would like it was done by a 2yr old

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    • I was a little shocked to see the screen on the sink. As far as coloring goes, I always liked to draw and paint, and for some wonderful reason, I am actually improving with age.

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  12. Three more weeks until the election. That’s my stress around here at the moment. I support a candidate that most of my friends do not. I have decided not to post (nor look often) on FB other than my once daily photo image until after this election is over. I’m already in two strained relationships because of politics. Still. I canvass for my candidate and don’t tell my friends. I don’t invite them to my house because I have political signs in my yard. It’s still important to me that I work for my candidate. I just don’t advertise it. My friends and I were friends before and I think we can be again. And I let the dog wander, too, as we’re outside, it’s my way of destressing after a day of campaign work. Good idea to slow down the eating and the reading too. It’s true that life is speeding past us. I’m retired. I can afford to try to slow it down.

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    • Slowing down is a dilemma for sure. We are retired, so we should take it slow and savor it. But on the other hand, we are so aware that our time is limited.

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  13. I agree with you totally. Some days I think I waste so much time on garbage, garbage out nonsense from the internet. I am trying to cut my screen time down to one hour per day. I mean how much do I really need to know about what’s going on in the world. It all just creates too much traffic in my brain and I end up feeling overconnected.

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    • One hour! I’m impressed! I would like to get down to one hour in the morning, one hour in the afternoon, and one hour in the evening. I think my blood pressure would thank me if I could just do that.

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  14. I’ve only recently started to use Audible and the other day I treated myself to Dickens “A Christmas Carol” being read by Patrick Stewart. I just love that man’s voice. Saturday was also a day to savour as it was sunny but not windy, I sat under my pergola and enjoyed the garden, even saw a Superb Fairy Wren hopping about. There is so much in life we can’t control but at least we can have these moments.

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    • That’s lovely. Moments are all we have. And I listened to a book on audible for the first time just this week! At times I found myself impatient since I can read a lot faster than the narrator read. But when I just let go and let myself absorb it, it was wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I could listen all the time instead of reading but I picked this specifically as it is a favourite story and I’ve always admired Patrick Stewart’s speaking voice. Odd to hear him singing as Tiny Tim though. 🙂

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  15. Oh Nancy, I so needed to read this today. Life has felt very out of balance lately, I need to slow down & your post was a gentle nudge. Thank you for that!

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    • Everything seems so overwhelming sometime – it is so hard to just let go. We just have to keep trying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We do indeed!

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  16. Ray G

    I have not attempted reverse quotes, but who was it who said, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow” ? The intervening time (especially overnight) can provide thoughtful alternates about what one was going to do immediately, and frequently in a better, more efficient way.

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    • Agreed. I often need to stop and “sleep on it” when I come up against something I can’t figure out. I don’t think I actually figure it out in my sleep – I just think I come at it again reenergized.

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  17. I love it! t is so true, and comforting. Since I began university, or even a bit earlier, I developed a depression. Because nobody smiles without wanting to sell something, and because of familiar problems, I don’t have any friends anymore. So it’s a though life, and I finally found a psychotherapist. I am so anxious and tired about the world whose barriers isn’t protected by any personal heart-warming relationships (my generation is mad, and me too!^^), that world that seems absurd to me because it wakes up every morning with nowhere to go and no dreams and still goes on. It is sometimes hard to unfocus (also because I have ADHD and insomnia) and be THERE, but the moments I do, it feels so gorgeous. Thank you for the little sparkles of joy, simplicity and freedom you share so regularly. Deborah

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  18. I agree especially with the introduction. there are advertisements everywhere! I find it hard to relax when I am constantly bombarded with advertising messages. I just want to pee in peace!

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  19. That`s good advice. Like you I tend to eat to fast and try to rush through things to get them done. Driving to work is one of those things. I am always yelling, “C`mon, C`mon, lets go. Twice recently I have been reminded that I should really slow down a bit. Last week as I drove through the country side I got stopped at some construction and was not pleased. As I looked around I realized that the colours of the trees were phenomenal. As we started to move again I slowed down and took in the scenery the rest of the way. It was breath taking. Just this morning I was having another one of those C`mon moments when I realized what was holding up the traffic was the massive number of cars trying to get into the countryside church. I had never seen such traffic in the area. I realized that it was for the funeral of a local 5 year old hero my boss had told me about earlier in the week. This little girl did so much in her community in her short life that the whole area was pretty much trying to get there to send her off. It was humbling. I slowed down.

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