Many years ago my family and I used to go to my then husband’s parent’s home for holiday meals. His mother was an excellent cook and enjoyed preparing meals for us. She spent days preparing all the season’s delights and we came to the table eager to begin the festivities. Invariably when 20 minutes later we were happily full she would lament, “It took me 3 days to prepare and 20 minutes for you to eat it!”

We were (still are!) all so used to rushing through life that it was impossible for us to sit back, relax and savor our meal. The sad thing is that the only one who noticed was the person who cooked the meal. Everyone else just looked at her blankly.

An author and nutritionist gave a talk here a few years ago. Before she began she gave each person a chocolate kiss and then asked us to unwrap the kiss and eat it very slowly, making sure to really taste each bite. Her point was that a small amount of something sweet could be very satisfying if we spent some time to really savor it. Have you ever eaten something and then not remembered what it tasted like or even that you ate it?!

Many of us (I count myself in this group) spend time with family and friends but don't really appreciate the joy of the moment. Time goes by in a blur and we get so caught up in activities that there is no time for reflection and really savoring the whole experience.

I spend many holidays with my children and grandchildren. I notice that I get so caught up in food preparation and making things perfect for everyone that I am too tired to fully enjoy the pleasure of my family. What would happen if I made the preparations simpler and then asked everyone to join in and help?

In the past I was alone for the holidays. After several years of feeling sorry for myself I decided to do something special for myself instead.

I love to read and listen to music but my hectic life didn’t allow much time for it. So during those times that I knew I was going to be alone I would buy myself a special book that I wanted to read and find a few movies I had on my “must see” list.

I learned over time to savor the peaceful time to read, listen to music and to catch up on the latest movies. Sometimes I even put a CD on and sang with it – all parts as loud as I could. Now that is something I would never do in front of anyone else --and it felt good!

It is the little moments in life that memories are made of. Finding ways to make an experience joyful for yourself is important. Savor the moments and truly enjoy where you are. Consciously think about taking a picture with your mind's eye to preserve in your memory for the future!

Author's Bio: 

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor and Career Coach as well as publisher of Parker’s Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. Parker’s Value Program© enables her clients to find their own way to work that is more fulfilling and profitable. Her clients are attorneys, sole practioners, and people in transition. Alvah is found on the web at www.asparker.com. She may also be reached at 781-598-0388.

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