Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taking Time

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

Driving home the other day I was thinking about that quote. Suddenly, it dawned on me how I had caught happiness. I discovered how to years ago and then forgot it. I rediscovered it and forgot it again. I hate it when that happens.

Over the past few days I’ve been having a great deal of fun. I presented a Colorado town with their Arbor Day award. Something I’ve done in this town for twenty years. Around two hundred elementary students were there. The kids read poems, sang songs, and helped with the tree planting. It was a good time.

Is there anything better than a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast? Yes! A leisurely Saturday morning breakfast cooked on a new griddle your wife surprises you with. I’ve had griddles in the past but none that I really liked, they were always to small. Char walked in the other night and gave me this one. Saturday morning, it was bacon, eggs, and pancakes. We’ll be using it a lot.

Out in the yard I was able to put in some edging to hold back the mulch and then plant a few vegetables. It’s still to early to plant a lot of things but I did plant kale and beets. I have really been enjoying working out in the yard.

Then there is the cooking class at the assisted living center. Attendance was up this week. Evidently word about last week’s cake had spread. This week we made chicken artichoke casserole. It was a big hit. At the end of class, I told the residents next week we will be making something with apples. Before long we were talking about ice cream, I said we would have ice cream too. That’s when I heard the quote of the week. It came from a lady who was being wheeled out of the room. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “Geez, Ralph, I hope I don't die by then because I love ice cream!"

Four simple little things that helped me capture happiness in the last few days. The secret I rediscovered is to slow down and take time to enjoy what I am doing. Don’t get in a big rush to scratch things off the ‘To Do’ list, don’t run from one event to another – slow down and enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. At least, it works for me.

I’m sure I’ll forget this lesson from time to time. But Mr. Franklin was right – you have to catch happiness yourself.


Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much said...

Don’t get in a big rush to scratch things off the ‘To Do’ list, don’t run from one event to another – You do know who I am married to right? The king of list making...
I agree. We do need to slow down and enjoy what is taking place in the moment.

Another job well done!
Great Post!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

How true...words of wisdom.

Take time to smell the coffee...or the roses, whichever works the best.

11:58 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Life is so amazing, isn't it? I was sitting here working on my Sunday thing (I refuse to use the word 'sermon'- that makes it sound like I know more than I do) Anyway, I was saying just about what you were, about things that bring people happiness - mostly when you are GIVING to others, doing for others. I needed a break and thought, gee, I haven't checked on Ralph for a while - and there it was... doing, giving... happiness.
Likewise, I was told this morning to pray for rain because I needed a rest from all the yard work, gardening, etc.
I got some asparagus picked, enough for supper, and now it is raining.
Currently we are smelling the lilacs while carrying a cup of coffee. Sniff, sip, life is good.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Lanny said...

That's pretty interesting, you have to slow down in order to catch something worth while, like happiness. Pretty opposite what the world teaches eh?

6:16 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

All true and well said my man.
I love the grill. At Harlan this year we'll use yours. :)
I think you're beginning to catch on to this retirement thing.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Paul Nichols said...

I might move to your house and take lessons--and get some good eats from your new grill, too.

6:19 AM  
Blogger nora said...

I had a "slow down" day last week and it was awesome. Now I just need to catch up from it!
Are you planting tomatoes? When should I come for a BLT? That bacon looks great!

6:33 AM  

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