For several years, I had an office with a beautiful view during the holidays. It overlooked a peaceful scene of white lights backed by the sunset. Each December, I had a ritual at the end of each day: I would turn off my office lights, look out the window, and pause for a moment to take it in.
“Pause” and “holidays” aren’t words that blend well naturally, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t coexist.
Pausing is not the same thing as stopping. A pause is temporary and can be rather fleeting if necessary. It’s something we can fairly easily fit into our schedules this time of the year. But it’s attention-getting and a good way to fit in a moment of refreshment.
Is there a scene you pass by on your way to or from work that makes your heart smile? If so, slow your speed to take it in. It may be just the thing you need to start your day well to cheerfully greet your coworkers, or to start your evening well with your family when you see them.
Is there a chance you could pause to let someone else onto an escalator in front of you or pull into traffic? Just the small act of consideration for another person (even if they don’t know you have done it) can be a good reminder of the importance of other people.
As you are going into a mall this season, pause for a second to see someone drop money in the red kettle. Take comfort in knowing that there are people in this world with a spirit of generosity.
As you are in a room with family, friends or coworkers, pause to savor the moment of being with people who are important to you. Watch for those moments when someone throws their head back in laughter or swallows a loved one in an embrace.
Pause to be thankful that your loved one made it home safely. Pause to listen to a song you love. Pause to refresh yourself mentally, emotionally, or spiritually during your day. Pause to see the blessings around you.
Sometimes a pause can be just enough of a break in our stride to bring us into the moment. To jolt us out of our thoughts and bring our focus to the good that is going on beyond us.