As I sit in this coffee shop beginning to write my article, the world continues to rush around me. Exhausted students with deep bags under their eyes thrust their keep cup over the counter as they order a triple shot. Businesspeople in elegant suits plaster a smile onto their faces as they sit down for their third meeting of the day. The waitress, who is already two hours into her shift, tries to ignore the pounding at her head as she glances back at the clock.
Week 9 has hit, and with it a tsunami of exhaustion.
In the past few weeks I have noticed that every time I ask someone how they are going I get roughly the same answers. Busy, tired and ready for a break. Everyone I talk to is grasping on by a thread for the break so that they can finally have a bit of rest. Maybe we will actually catch up on sleep. Maybe we will catch up with friends. Maybe, just maybe we will even catch up on the lectures. I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I am falling into the trap of looking forward. Dreaming so much of the mid sem break that I want week 9 to pass in the blink of an eye. Dreaming so much of the summer break that I want the rest of semester to just shoot past. And then, when it is over, I look back and wonder how it passed so quickly. Disappointed that my first year is over and I will never be able to get it back.
Why didn’t I appreciate it while it was there? When I hit the snooze button 3 times and crawled out of bed, did I appreciate that I woke up this morning? Did I appreciate that I was able to get out of bed on my own without the help of a nurse or walking frame? Did I appreciate that I had family or friends that I could contact at the click of a button? Probably not. I was likely so distracted by how tired I was that I forgot to acknowledge these things. Taking for granted what others would consider a luxury.
Is it the same for you? Do you ever find yourself wishing time away? Not really appreciating the days you have and the experiences that you are going through? I’m sure we all do it sometimes, especially as the semester comes to a close. So distracted by the hustle that we forget to just be present and enjoy it.
What can you do today that will help make you more present and appreciative of what is happening?
For me this can look like a few things:
- Thinking about what I am grateful for
- Turning my phone off
- Keeping a journal
- Making a cooked breakfast
- Reading my bible
- Going for a run or a walk without my phone
- Study or read in a coffee shop
- Taking the time to really appreciate my cup of coffee in silence
This list is definitely not extensive, but it is a start. A lot of the time they can even be paired. I have noticed that thinking about what I am grateful for can have the biggest impact and so while I have that cup of coffee, I thank God for specific things. How the lecture last week made more sense than usual. How my little sister calls me when she needs some advice. How my friend trusted me enough to confide in me.
Writing my journal is very similar, it just helps to get it on paper. To cement it a bit more, and to give me something to read back on when everything is falling apart. In fact, all of them are probably quite similar. They are just about stopping, being present, being grateful. It just takes 10 minutes but it makes a huge difference throughout the day.
The challenge I set myself is to make this a habit. To take 10 minutes every morning, every day to just enjoy that first sip of coffee.
Will you join me?