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Slow Down & Take Time to Be

Watching the clock. Time to go.  What is next?  Countless lists and things on the agenda.  Life goes way to fast and we are constantly on the move.  During these times of quarantine, I have learned a valuable lesson...slow down and take time to be.  Whether it has been sitting for a little longer on a sunny morning on my front porch sipping a hot cup of coffee, reading a good book on my cozy couch late at night, or playing yet another silly game with my nephew or niece, these past months have taught me to take my time and slow down.

Life is short and we are so consumed by our jobs, daily responsibilities, and the many things we "must do."  And yet, through it all, we often tend to miss out because we are continuously looking ahead.  Don't get me wrong, I am someone who believes in planning.  However, there is no time like the present moment.  There is no time like, now.  As I swam with my nephew and niece in my in-laws pool today it struck me.  At no other point would I be able to have an entire day to share in such fun during the middle of the typical work week.  Being unemployed is not easy and more people face it now than ever before because of losing their jobs due to COVID-19.  However, work was the last thing on my mind today.  Making money and having a job frankly didn't matter because I got lost in the moment.  My inner child come out and it was a ton of fun!

What a beautiful thing it was to be able to spend an entire afternoon with two of the most precious little ones in my family.  Jumping in a pool never felt so good.  Not because it was a scorching 90 degree day, but because for the first time in a long time, I could safely be with my nephew and niece and just be.  We squirted each other with pool toys, took rides on rafts, built little castles out of fake play dough like sand, played ring around the rosie, and had a picnic lunch.  At was as if time stood still.  I soaked up every second.  Looking at the joy in the two little ones that I shared such fun times with today reminded me of what truly matters in this life.  I experienced what I believe is the closest thing to a slice of Heaven on earth.  Before I headed home, my little nephew came up to me and said, "Danny, I am so happy you came to play with me at Chi-Chi's (grandma's) house today. It was so fun"  That three year old boy said it all.   

The messages I would soon glance at while heading to my car, after telling everyone I would see them soon and how much I loved them; those texts didn't matter.  The to-do list that would greet me when I got home was still going to be there and yet it was nearly erased from my mind completely.  Today was all about being.  It was about living in a moment, capturing it, letting it sink in, experiencing love, and allowing love to flow from my heart to those kids.  I hope that when I am a dad some day that I take a random Wednesday off and spend it entirely by doing fun things with my kids.  There is nothing more satisfying than taking the time for the little things and spending time with the people that matter the most.

In as much as I pray that the next phase of reinstatement from quarantine is soon approaching so we can get back to some sense of normalcy, days like today make me think that it's more than okay if another week passes and I am not at work.  Overall, the best and most important thing is that we have people to share our lives with, kids to love, and the time to do just that.  My hope is that amidst the chaos of life, you will take time to just be.  Whether it means time with your own kids, time with your spouse, or time for yourself, just be.  Live in the now and soak up the moment.  Slow life down, take time to smell the roses, breathe deeply, and know that there will never be another time in your life quite like the one you are experiencing now.  Enjoy the week ahead and I urge you that the next time you glance at your watch or think about all the things you have to do, ensure that you don't miss out on what is right before your very eyes.

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