Savoring the Good Times

Puzzle Pieces

A friend of mine called last week sounding a bit frantic.  Last April, she said, when was doing her spring cleaning, she decided to throw out an old Barbie Doll House that her grandchildren had enjoyed.  They were older now and lived abroad, and it seemed unlikely that they would still find it interesting.  But a month ago, her daughter said they were going to be able to come for a visit late this summer and the younger granddaughter said she was looking forward to playing with the doll house.  They didn’t have anything like it where she lived.

After a bit of a search, my friend found an identical one on eBay, a bit of a wonder since it was over 30 years old, and it had just arrived at her house.  She had spent hours trying to assemble it, with no luck.  Could I come over and help?

I arrived to discover a pile of plastic pieces on her dining room table.  There were no instructions, of course, but my friend pulled up a photo of the assembled one online.  We carried the pieces to her basement TV room where the children usually played and laid all the pieces on the floor.

Two hours later, after much laughter and trial and error, we stood arm in Finished Doll Houearm admiring the towering construction.  “We did it!” we laughed in delight.  We toasted each other with glasses of ginger ale.

That experience was one of the highlights of my week, a week filled with the stress of world events and news from friends with unexpected health challenges.  The memory of it flashed through my thoughts from time to time, unfailingly bringing me a smile.

It’s important to savor your accomplishments, however small.  That’s one of the reasons I keep a daily gratitude journal where I record three moments I enjoyed during the day.  It helps me keep my balance.  It reminds me that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile.  I can’t do anything about the insanity that seems to be enveloping our planet these days—the anger, the division, the violence, the threats.  But gosh, it sure was fun to put that doll house together.  And I loved the video of my granddaughter’s skating performance.  And wasn’t it great to get that chimney repair done at last!

Savoring the golden moments makes the rest of them worth enduring.  Whether you’re looking back on a warm moment from the past, celebrating a current accomplishment, or anticipating an upcoming event, savoring adds depth and flavor to your life.  It lets you sink into a kind of relaxed pleasure and to remember that life contains much that is good.

Whether or not you make a written note of good things that your day held, take time to do a little mental review of them each night.  Try to recall at least three experiences that you enjoyed and to let yourself taste them again.  It’s good conditioning; it makes you more aware of the delicious parts of your life as they occur and keeps your mind on the outlook for them.  “What we focus on, expands,” the adage goes.  And it’s true.  Savor the good times, and watch as more and more of them unfold for you.

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