“You missed the soap bubble! It went right past you.”
My husband and I had been taking a walk around our neighborhood. It was a glorious, sunny late-summer morning, with just the right amount of coolness to make walking pleasant.
And until he made that comment, I hadn’t realized–I was just walking through it. My mind was chattering with about a dozen “to-do’s”–while indeed, there was someone blowing a series of soap bubbles from a back yard we’d passed. One of the fragile, rainbow-y iridescent globes had just sailed past me, unnoticed.
My response, of course, was, “Well, that’s why I have you. To make me notice the soap bubbles.” And it is–because my husband has a tendency to help me slow down and appreciate the beautiful and more “fun” things in life.
With all kinds of new media and social media demanding attention, that “mind chatter” is not unusual. There’s plenty to do, and we certainly could work forever–and then some. Let’s see, we have to: post, meet a blogging deadline, tweet what we’ve posted, put something up on Facebook, maybe add a picture on Pinterest, respond to our e-mail and messages, and check out about ten new possibilities that have just evolved, at any given time, in social media! And the problem is, all of the above are highly addictive.
But more than one leader in the field has proven: time taken off to just enjoy life makes us that much more productive. To me, soap bubbles are a great symbol for that renewal time.
As a kid growing up in the sixties, one of my favorite things, while visiting my grandmother in Wilmington, Delaware, was to blow bubbles in the back yard. I’d take a pan of soapy water, an ancient blue plastic bubble pipe that had belonged to several other grandchildren, and sit on the back steps. My game was to see just how far those bubbles could go, and how long they would last. Could I get one to the top of our old pine tree, on the edge of her property? Would a bubble be strong enough to get into our flower bed? I’d stay outside all morning, till the noon whistle blew for lunch. Those lazy, bubble-filled summer mornings are still a favorite childhood memory.
Learning to step away from the computer, and keep my eyes open for the soap bubbles in life, is a lesson I’m constantly having to relearn. (Smelling the roses is not a problem, but taking things slowly does tend to be!) That’s my resolution for this week: to remember to take renewal time, and just see the results, in terms of productivity.
How about you?