Day 9: Give Yourself a Minute

That U2 song keeps playing over and over in my brain:

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you, life goes on.

Unfortunately, we live so much of our lives without us in them.

I almost gave my Sunday away. Almost filled it up by returning calls and answering emails and spending time with assorted friends I “should” see. I had planned to spend the day gardening, but it poured. What now? 

I heard this little voice inside calling out, “What about me? Can you spend some time with me?” 

So I spent the day doing a fun art project. I spent the evening enjoying the Tony Awards. I spent one whole day doing only what I wanted. Selfish? No. It was a rare treat. The more I consciously mother myself, the more aware I am of how much time I used to give away to everyone else.

When you finally decide to include yourself in your life, you realize that you require attention and love. I call it “my life with me in it” which is a new concept for me. It only took 58 years to discover that I need to include myself in my life. 

Give yourself time before you give away all your time.

It doesn’t even take a lot of time. 

I call them “one minute wonders.” Just give yourself a conscious, present minute of YOU. 

A one minute gift to yourself doesn’t take anything out of you. It simply fills you with love or beauty or grace or peace.

Take one minute…

To look in the mirror into your deep blue/brown/green/hazel eyes and smile at the wonder of you.

To file the broken fingernail that you would have filed days ago it that finger belonged to one of your kids.

To inhale the scent of the clementine as you unwrap it.

To play a song that makes you want to roll down the windows and sing along at the top of your lungs.

To breathe in the final scent of the lilacs before the last one turns brown.

To really absorb the kind words your sister wrote on your birthday card.

To read a lovely poem, like this one from Mary Oliver, called The Summer Day:

“Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

I plan to savor mine, minute by precious minute.