I’ve been thinking of something all day — that delectable ice cream I ate last night. It started with a couple scoops of strawberry ice cream (slow churned, half the fat, so I didn’t feel guilty). I dotted the top with chocolate chips (I have to have something chocolate), and sprinkled it with unsweetened coconut flakes.
Mmmmm. The ice cream melted on my tongue, and chunks of strawberries were sweet surprises in my mouth. I chewed the chocolate chips, that got a little hard from being so cold. They were the perfect accompaniment to the smooth ice cream. And the flakes of crunchy coconut… Wow! That’s what made it so delicious. The light, crispy coconut.
I couldn’t stop daydreaming about that luscious treat. That got me thinking. There are many simple things that make me happy.
*It warms my heart that Talee texts and sends pictures everyday to let me know she’s okay and having a wonderful time (she’s studying abroad 6,000 miles away).
*I’m grateful that Mackenzie is happy, independent, and loves working (her dream job, right out of college).
*I love that my husband and I laugh and laugh together.
*I’m thankful for the tiny green tomato that just sprouted on my cherry tomato plant.
It’s the smaller, kind acts of people and the beauty of nature that bring me happiness. I make a point to stop and really notice. To savor the moment.
Because if I focus on the cute, chubby baby kicking her legs in excitement, or if I watch in amazement at how fast the hummingbirds flap their wings, I’m not concentrating on my anxiety. And I’m not wondering when my next panic attack will be.
I need to be mindful. Be present. And not what-iffing on what could be.
When I drive, I often breathe in deep through my nose, and exhale slowly. I listen to my favorite radio station and get my mind away from thinking, What if I have a panic attack at this intersection? At the gym, I concentrate on the beat of my music and the way my muscles feel as they’re getting stronger. And not, What if I panic right here on the elliptical?
Remembering to stop and count my blessings is another form of being mindful. Noticing. Like when my husband held my hand last night at the park. And when our ten year old dog ran with so much energy, he played catch like he was two.
Before I fall asleep, I reflect on the good things that happened that day. Some nights I have to dig deeper. But the beautiful, small gifts are always there. Always.
Find the simple joys in life. Be mindful of them. And savor their deliciousness.