When the April Atlantic trumps the urgent

 

Sometimes we get so busy we forget to take our own advice.

We lose sight of the strong, silent important amidst the loud, clamoring urgent.

 

Take this past weekend, for example.

I visited my dear hubbie at the modest apartment he’s renting while he’s away at his current work assignment.

Like all of you, we have our share of challenges, stumbling blocks, and too many to-do’s, and all those nasty goblins had us climbing our four small walls.

When we stopped to take stock, we knew we needed to change our point of view so we could change our day.

 

That’s when we heard the Atlantic Ocean calling.

In New England.

In April.

When the average temperature usually ranges from just above freezing to a brisk and raw, skin-chapping cold.

But this day, the thermometer was reaching for a near-record high.

With the invitation to enjoy a taste of mid-summer in early spring, we were not about to let the whining of the urgent drown out the whisper of the important.

 

We packed up our gear and headed east, and within the hour we were parked on the beach, side by side, bare toes in the warm sand.

Reveling in temperatures normally reserved for July, we settled into our comfy chairs and closed our eyes. We dozed off to the whooshing heartbeat of the waves as the soft breeze brushed the unseasonably warm sun from our faces.

 

When we awoke, we strolled, holding hands now and again, along the length of the beach, more than a mile each way from jetty to stone jetty, dropping our cares along the way like so many pebbles in the sand.

While we did chat a bit, a comfortable silence filled much of the distance.

We kept our eyes open for details, both small and large, that tend to delight, little gifts reserved for those who take the time to see.

 

Ripple patterns in the hard, wet sand.

Horse hoof prints near the water’s edge.

Shells, crabs and seaweed being tossed about as the tide began to roll back in.

Parents and children, laughing and playing as they raced the waves and yelped in surprise at the shock of the icy ocean waters.

Owners and their dogs, battling breezes and bright sunshine to toss and retrieve their frisbees.

 

Ahhh. Can you feel the slowing of your breathing and your heartbeats to match the gentle rhythm of the waves upon the beach?

A wonderful afternoon, intentionally slowing down, attending to each other and our marriage, refilling our buckets with love, joy and simple pleasures.

 

And one of the most amusing moments?

We saw Captain America.

Yes, the Captain America.

Unwinding, resting, and refreshing where the warm sand meets the cold waters of the Atlantic.

And he even let us take his picture.

If a superhero can remember to take care of the important instead of just the urgent, then I guess we can, too.

 

For a great resource on learning to reset your priorities for yourself and your family, check out Little House on the Freeway, Help for the Hurried Home by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

To learn more on the difference between urgent and important, I recommend Tsh Oxenreider’s post, The Tyranny of the Urgent, at Simple Mom.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Challenge: What is one important thing can you take care of this week that will encourage rest and strengthened relationships? Please share, encourage and support one another in the comments. Be sure to check the little box under the comment area so if folks reply to you, you’ll get a nifty little notice in your email!

Sharing at: No Ordinary Blog Hop, The Better Mom Mondays Link Up, Soli Deo Gloria Party, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Things I Can’t Say

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Kim,

    Sounds like this was truly a magical experience for you and Keith.

    Taking care of the important, is so much more life-affirming and energizing than tending to the urgent. Want a minute… If we focus on taking care of the important, maybe, just maybe, there wouldn’t be urgents to rush in and care for.

    The important thing for us to care for this week is our health. We will never be able to touch as many lives as we want, and fully complete the projects that stir us the most, if we are failing in our health.

    • Magical is a great word for the day, Joel.
      I agree. Taking time for the important often means there is far less “urgent” in our lives, whether in relationships, finances, or any other area.

      I love how you and Pei take care of yourselves so you can help others!

  2. Kim, It’s so great that you and your husband took the time to get away. I find that I struggle with the “urgent” versus the “important” in so many areas, and I appreciate your wise encouragement. I will keep that mental image of Captain America as a reminder this week!
    Blessings,
    Ann

    • Although we know better, and stress it in our writing to help others, it can sometimes be very hard to make a regular part of our lives. The whole issue of taking time for ourselves is absolutely counter-intuitive: by taking time, we actually make better use of our time and our gifts because we are well rested. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Dr. Ann!

  3. It’s great that you and your husband make time for little serenity breaks like this. And it’s also great that you don’t have to fill all of the silence with chatter–just being together fills up your hearts. Love the Captain America picture too! :)

    • Serenity breaks: I love that phrase, Beth! It is funny that at times like this, meant for peaceful unwinding and connecting, that we can be silent. Other times, though, my hubbie is so dear, as he will listen to me talk on for great lengths of time.

  4. Captain America. :) Someone needs to talk to Wonderwoman.

    • Oh, my gosh, Lori! You made me laugh out loud with that one! Where is Wonderwoman, indeed?! I never made the connection that she was missing! Thanks for adding to the conversation and giving me yet something else to think about.

  5. I love the image of you and your husband relaxing in the ocean air, asleep on the sand, side by side, and then strolling, hand in hand, by the waves. Just beautiful — and a powerful message regarding slowing down, making choices toward building relationship. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Jennifer, for your very kind words. I hope you draw encouragement and take even a few extra moments to let your husband know how important he is in the midst of all the urgent moments that fill a family’s day.

  6. Thanks for sharing your delightful day. I loved reading about the moments you enjoyed with your husband. I could just picture the two of you walking hand in hand on the sand and viewing life around you. I so want spring to come soon; right now we are having a lot of rain. I need a moment like this with my hubby.

    • I hear you on wanting spring to come soon! Even though we had less snow than usual, we are usually suffering from cabin fever at this point. I pray for you to have time with your hubby—there’s always mud boots and umbrellas for a romantic walk in the warm rain, or time to cuddle on the couch with hot cocoa, candles, and conversation after the kids are in bed. :-)

  7. Kim – This is so well written. Your descriptive voice is simply beautiful — makes me long for the beach. What is one important thing I can take care of this week that will encourage rest and strengthened relationships? A nice relaxing dinner with all our kids. I’m going to send out the invitation text now!
    You are a blessing to us all, Kim!

    • I am so glad you found some R&R here, Connie, and the inspiration to send out an invitation to your kids. We started a monthly family gathering with our kids very recently. We get together once a month for dinner and have lots of fun catching up and eating. Then, while we’re still together, we choose the date for our next gathering so that we all reserve the time. Have fun with your kiddos!

  8. Having those calm moments to spend together- such a wonderful feeling!

  9. Ah, that outing sounds wonderful! My husband and I do a pretty good job of taking time for ourselves on date nights and I do a decent job of taking time for myself, but I’m working on taking that important time with my children. I’m working on nourishing those relationships more.
    And that was so very awesome of Captain America to let you take his picture. :)

    • Ah, thanks for your sweet words. I think that’s great that you take time for dates with your hubbie, and time for yourself. It takes effort to take that time, but it comes down to what we see as the most important. Thanks for coming by!

  10. Yes! I loved this. Especially these lists of details:

    “Ripple patterns in the hard, wet sand.
    Horse hoof prints near the water’s edge.
    Shells, crabs and seaweed being tossed about as the tide began to roll back in.”

    More and more I realize rest is in the details and the noticing of them.

    • That it is, Joe. This really came home to me from my photography teacher. He taught me to slow down, focus, and pay attention. Through him, I am so grateful to see the world in so many beautiful details!
      Thanks so much for dropping by!

  11. Thanks so much for your submission! We’ll be announcing the Allume Social Conference ticket winner tomorrow!

    • Thanks so much. It will be a wonderfully cherished gift for whoever is the winner! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

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