Savouring Life

PhoneUse

Do you savour life?

The Oxford dictionary defines “savour” as: “Enjoy or appreciate something pleasant to the full, especially by lingering over it”.

How often to do you that? How often do you pause long enough to truly appreciate something fully? When was the last time you “lingered” over something? I’m going to guess that there’s a good chance it’s been a very long.

Oh sure you can tell me the last good meal you had. You may be able to tell me about a fun time you had with family or friends, but if you think about the last time you stopped long enough to really savour something, I bet you’ll find that it’s been a while, maybe a really long time.

Why is that?

We live in a fast-paced, instant-gratification, technology-addicted culture. Most of us don’t think we have time to savour anything, and even if we did, we’d probably miss it… we’d have our nose in our phone.

We are currently in the period in Christian calendar called Lent. This is the time when we prepare ourselves for Easter through 3 disciplines: fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

When I was deciding what I would “fast” from this year, I thought about the usual stuff: chips, chocolate, desert etc. But the point of fasting is to help you truly improve your life. To get rid of something harmful or excessive in order to make room for something better. I decided to reduce my social media use.

Confession time: Until a few weeks ago, I allowed my phone to prevent me from savouring life. My phone had become more than a tool; it was more like a friend. Too often I spent more time with it than I did with the people I care about. I’ve missed special little moments in my children’s lives because I had my eyes on my phone instead of on them.

I’m not proud of those admissions, but they are the truth. Thankfully that has started to change because I made an intentional decision to change. Not because our phone’s are inherently bad, but because when their use gets excessive, they can cause harm. I wanted to make room for more important things.

I put software on my computer that would cut off my use of certain websites (Facebook namely) after a certain amount of time spent on them each day. Then I deleted Facebook from my phone. I noticed changes almost immediately.

Eliminating that one thing has provided a special window of time in my life.

Eliminating that one thing has provided a special window of time in my life. It has made room for more important things. I can have a meaningful conversation with someone and look at their eyes! (assuming they aren’t on their phone) I’m seeing the little things my kids do when they are playing that I would have otherwise missed.

I still have a long way to go. I still use my phone too much and I’m still tempted too often to grab it and mindlessly “play” without purpose, but I’m getting better. I’m savouring life just a little bit more than I was before and I’m loving it! I want to invite you to savour your life a little more too. Here are 3 things that you can do to help:

 

3 Tips to Help You Savour Life:

Fast: Fasting goes far beyond just depriving yourself of some food or drink.  You can fast from sarcasm, fast from judging others, fast from TV or video games.

[Tweet “Eliminating that one thing has provided a special window of time in my life.”]

Slow Down: Our culture is one that glorifies productivity and busy-ness and has no time for people who want to take their time. But [Tweet “Eliminating that one thing has provided a special window of time in my life.”] You’ll miss it. In order to enjoy life to the fullest, it’s essential that you be able to slow down and take it in.

Carve out at least half a day a week where you schedule nothing. Don’t leave that time open in your calendar, reserve it for doing nothing. Relax and spend time with those you love. Go for a walk in the park. Have a great conversation. Savour life.

 

Practice Gratitude: About a year ago we started a practice as a family. Before bed my wife and two kids and I each take a turn saying something we are thankful for that day. It might be as simple as “thank you for our warm house on this cold day”. This daily practice of counting our blessings has helped me to savour each day a little more. The little things that would normally go unnoticed, get noticed. It’s powerful.
This is leap day. Februrary 29th only happens every four years. It’s an extra day we get only once every four years. We get a gift of an extra day today. How will you use it? I wish you a wonderful life full of wonderful moments. More importantly, I wish you the attention and time to truly savour them.

Action: Please share in the comments something that you have done, or will now do, to help you savour your life.