Why is it so easy to get caught up in the small distractions of everyday life? Sometimes we can get so distracted by what is at the tip of our noses we forget to look up and around ourselves. There’s a new type of distraction too. I have noticed in the recent years that local news isn’t very local, its global. We hear stories of tragedy half way around the world and our instinct is to fret, to pray, to send relief. Our compassionate response is valid. However, the issue it brings is that we are limited because we are human. We only have so much mental capacity, we only have so much time and so much resource. When we are distracted by global matters we miss what is happening right next door. We miss the everyday cues that our neighbor or friend is in distress. Our society is conditioned to conceal pain, to hide anything imperfect so it becomes even harder as a human to detect when someone right in front of us is in need.
As an act of rebellion or possibly a way to remain sane these last few years my husband and I have removed all news sources from our home. I am not on facebook and I don’t find the time to surf the web. At first I was a little concerned that if something important happened we would be unaware but it has been three years and so far we haven’t missed anything. We stay up to date thanks to our family and customers that come to the farm talking about the headlines. If we care to dig deeper into something we have heard, we will research it but most news topics no longer interest us. What does interest us and what has filled the place in my brain that used to store the latest poll numbers are things like; friends birth dates, significant events in our neighbors lives, people in need of meals and so many other small but very local and very important things. The time I used to spend worrying about global affairs I now spend, baking, writing cards and making small gifts. I have noticed something over time, I am more at peace, more content and I finally feel like I have purpose. In these little needs that I can fill I finally feel like I am making a difference in the world, albeit a small one, but it is still impactful.
The word gratitude has been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps I am subconsciously preparing for the thanksgiving season or maybe it is me just getting older. I look around almost daily now and count our numerous blessings. Sure our life isn’t easy and certainly we have hard days but at the end of them I lay my head down on a soft pillow, in a warm house surrounded by so much love. I believe we only get one life and it truly is a vapor. Every year goes by faster than the last but each year the fall leaves become more vibrant, the sweetness of a smile carries more value and the little things in life make a greater impact. Some call it getting old but I think that with age comes wisdom that can’t be explained. As we rotate around the sun year after year we grow a little deeper in the understanding that we are only human and our time is limited but what matters most is how we lived.