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.
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!