Little Reminders to Slow Down

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I’ve noticed a chill in the air in the mornings and evenings, and every day the sun rises a little later and sets a little earlier. There are crisp leaves lying on the ground already, but many more still clinging to the trees gradually turning from green to shades of yellow, amber and red.

Autumn is my favourite season and part of the appeal is its transience. Every year autumn reminds me to slow down and pay attention to the world around me because if I’m wandering around lost in my thoughts or engrossed in my phone, I risk missing the beautiful display nature provides and won’t have another chance to appreciate it until next year.

Slowing down and being present in the moment were very much on my mind this weekend as my husband and I reunited with my family to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. My family are scattered across the country and we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d all like so it was lovely to have everyone together, time to catch up with everyone’s news and to just enjoy being in each other’s company for a while.

There will always be other tasks to be done and things to distract me but time with the people I love most is something worth prioritizing and that I never take for granted. It is little moments like these, full of laughter, chatter and birthday cake, that help me to weather all the stresses and storms of life.

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We were delayed by roadworks on the way home. I could’ve been annoyed by the delay, but I chose to be grateful that the road was still open and that we eventually arrived home safely. I realize that neither my grumbling nor my gratitude made the traffic move any faster but feeling thankful made the journey more pleasant.

Gratitude and mindfulness don’t always come naturally to me, it’s a choice I have to make and remake over and over again. So many of us rush through life, always impatient for the next place, the next time, that we never really notice or appreciate where are are or what we’re doing now. Nature, however, is full of little reminders to slow down and take notice, such as the pretty sunset we were rewarded with during our delay. Have a lovely week.

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