One of my favourite quotes comes from a John Lennon song, “Beautiful Boy”, it goes: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans” I came across this famous quote when I was going through my cancer treatments in search of inspirational quotes and phrases to help me get through my fight. I was drawn towards this particular quote because it reminded me not to lose sight of what was important in life especially when life itself tends to takeover and consume ourselves. When I was going through my treatments, I was forced to take a leave of absence from university, I was not working, and as such I had no outside “noise” in my life, I had the chance to see the world through a different lens. I was able to see how the people around me, my friends and family were so consumed with making plans and stressing over the day to day activities, that I felt as though they were missing out on the beauty of life itself. As odd and uncomfortable as it felt to have nothing happening in my life aside from having to fight to stay strong and alive, (I know that is a bit of an oxymoron because it’s a lot happening, but it was a different kind of ‘a lot happening’) it provided me with a rare opportunity to be more present and appreciate the moments throughout the days.
This past weekend I was reminded of this quote when Luch and I took
Liana, our 2 year old daughter to the Science Centre. It was Liana’s first time at the centre and she was mesmerized by all the new things that she was seeing and hearing; I knew that her senses were firing at top speed. Luch and I took joy in seeing her expressions and excitement at all the new things around her. In particular, Liana was so excited to come across the water station, where children had the opportunity to play with water, make bubbles form soap, see water filter through various apparatuses; to an adult, nothing too extraordinary, but to a 2 year old, it was magic. I said to Luch, isn’t it wonderful to see these things being experienced by Liana, and I joked with him, oh to be a 2 year old again. Later that evening I was reflecting back on my comment and realizing that I should in fact try to see the world through the eyes of a 2 year old, so that I too can stop and appreciate all of the beauty and wonder around me.
This morning, instead of worrying about what to make for breakfast, I decided to focus on the fact that the 3 of us have the opportunity to sit as a family and enjoy a breakfast together (or a picnic as Liana would call it). Instead of stressing about my deadlines that I have to meet for work today, I decided that I was going to appreciate that I had the mental and physical capacity to get through my work day and that I am fortunate to be able to work from home and not have to sit in traffic all day. Rather than get caught up in how cold it is outside, I decided to appreciate the snow melting and disappearing as does Liana when we drive to school in the morning. I challenged myself to change my thoughts today to more positive ones and reflect on the good rather than the negative. I chose to slow down and enjoy my day of life rather than let it slip away and simply become yesterday.
I challenge you this week to see the world through the eyes of a toddler, to appreciate the wonders around you; to slow down and enjoy every moment otherwise, as John Lennon once sang about, life will pass you by.