I now know why, on Christmas Eve, my grandson is so eager for Santa’s arrival that he can barely contain himself. I now know why my mother’s Christmas gifts sit at her feet unopened while she watches the rest of us rip into our parcels. I now know why I leave the Christmas tree lit up for an extra week after the new year has arrived.
It’s because we’re all, in our own ways, savoring the experience: the anticipation of magic, the excitement of watching a recipient’s face light up in delight, the soft glow of the lights against the January darkness.
Research by positive psychologist, Dr Fred Bryant, shows that those who regularly and frequently savor are happier and more satisfied with life in general. They are more optimistic; and they are less depressed. Who wouldn’t want that?
Savoring is about marveling, basking, admiring, appreciating, and luxuriating. It’s about paying attention, tuning in, soaking it up. Savoring is emphatically not about multitasking, rushing, hurrying, and speeding on to the next.
We all experience savoring in different time frames. Some enjoy anticipating the future – making plans, relishing what comes next. Some savor the moment – trying to be mindfully present to what is going on right here, right now. And others savor with a backward glance, reminiscing about the past, flipping through photos and enjoying the retelling of personal war stories and best moments. They all work!
ACTION: January can be a ‘full speed ahead’ time of year – given over to the setting of big goals, and their frenzied pursuit. And, indeed, there is nothing wrong with aiming high and going for it.
However, as you set about your achievements for 2012, try to savor as many of life’s experiences as possible – in all their glory. Leave enough time for anticipation. Be present as events unfold. Spare a moment for a backward glance at what’s gone well and what’s gone by.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Just because good things happen doesn’t mean we know what to do with them!” – Miriam Ufberg
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: To help you savor more, check out the new Katz-Ercize: Adventures in Savoring suggestions on the Pauseworks website.
READERS WRITE: In response to the final message of 2011, A Bricolage of Inspiration, Pause reader, DG, writes: I love having your Pause e-zines pop into my email box. They always have inspiration inside to get through the crazy world. I enjoyed the quotes; and at this time of year they seem to be filled with a message that should be present all year but tends to get lost.