One thing I’ve taken the time to be deliberate in savoring small moments. Like many people, it’s easy for me to get caught up in plans for the future and literally live months and even years in advance because I’m planning that far ahead. I have plan A’s, plan B’s, plan C’s, plan D’s and even plan E’s. My mind is constantly going analyzing and assessing my current situation and strategizing about my next move and what work is needed in order to make it a successful venture. However, I’ve had people remind me that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. I’ve had the chance to take some time and appreciate the small victories and happy moments in life that are often overlooked through all the crap that comes along with living in a bad world. Recently I had an experience that I’ve waited about two years for. The great thing was that I can honestly say that I took the time to just “be” in that moment. It was one of those things that I knew I might never happen again so I took the opportunity to savor it. While I’m somewhat of a patient person, the fact that I waited two years for it made it worth it. I appreciated it more and also understood that the moment was fleeting. Therefore, I just decided to enjoy it without allowing my mind to be distracted by the underlying meanings and motives and repercussions of the moment. In order for this to happen I had to make a deliberate and conscious decision to live in the moment for at least a moment and just “be” without a million and one thoughts coming in a spoiling the special-ness of the moment. Was it worth shutting out distractions and thoughts to enjoy the moment? Absolutely.
I consider myself an undercover touchy feely person. I say undercover because in no way, shape, or form does it appear that way to many people that know me. I’m the person who would much rather sit by myself than be commanded to “turn to my neighbor” or “give my neighbor a hug.” Quite frankly, I find it awkward and extremely annoying. This often happens in church-like settings where apparently the leader of some sort is trying to break the ice and apparently build lifelong bonds between people in the audience. Call me mean, but that’s not my intention. I don’t mind meeting new people and I have a nosy personality that seeks to find out what makes someone tick. I like to hear life stories and get advice and direction from people with a different perspective. However, I’m not down (and may not ever be) with hugging perfect strangers and telling them that I love them because I was told to do so. I remember reading somewhere that giving or receiving hugs can help the body and improve mental health. While I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with this, in my case hugs with perfect strangers do not count towards my “daily hug quota.” I don’t usually even know the person’s name. But refusing a hug creates one of the most awkward moments–especially if you don’t know the person. I honestly think that a hug in this type of situation is a type of meaningless affection. It means nothing. Conveys nothing. Accomplishes nothing. Now I know that other people would disagree with me and I’m sure that there are plenty of people who hug perfect strangers because there is a legitimate purpose. But in this situation, hugging someone because you were told to do so does not count as a legitimate reason with an actual purpose. Humans can be so trained to do whatever someone tells them to do because they have some sort of title. Makes no sense to me. Will I ever sit next to someone and inform them that I don’t do hugs from strangers? Probably not. But will I continue to cringe in my head whenever I hear a “turn to your neighbor?” Yup. What can I say? I just feel more comfortable hugging people I actually know.