August 5, 2013
Happiness and The Is
Today, I went for a run and a swim with my husband. As we started out, my legs felt sluggish – they did NOT want to run today! To motivate myself, I decided to make a game out of how much I could observe as I ran.
I noticed some everyday things – like street numbers, cracks in the pavement, a helicopter in the sky. After a few minutes of noticing, I noticed the pain in my legs disappear, noticed that I was enjoying myself. And then I noticed a real gem – palm trees! Here in Durham, North Carolina. Growing all over this neighborhood just 2 miles from my home. I felt like my moments of observation had been rewarded, both with happiness in the moment, and the idea of palm trees in my own front yard someday. 🙂
In the pool, I continued the game. 20 laps, how much could I notice? You would think that there wouldn’t be much to notice in a pool, traversing the same 25 meters up and back. But there was! I noticed how beautiful the bubbles were, when I put my hand down in the water to make the stroke. I noticed how comforting the smooth water felt around my body. It gave me the mind of a child, to suggest a few jumps and flips before we left, which we did. And then, the most rewarding of all – when I got out of the water and toweled myself off, I took a minute to actually look at the pool – the first time this summer that I really *looked* at it – and noticed how happy and comforting it was. Pool noodles, smiling faces. A woman doing laps, kids jumping in and chasing each other, a toddler excited to learn the word “bike”, a lifeguard examining her nails. Everyone being who they were in that blissful moment of summertime. In that moment, I was so content that I actually said out loud to my husband, “I don’t need anything more than what I have right now”.
Noticing “The Is”. Some people call this mindfulness. It turns normal moments into those you remember and cherish. To me, that’s happiness. 🙂
Katie Benedetto Jones