Several weeks ago, I sat in Starbucks for my bi-weekly, um, sit at Starbucks time. Sorry, don't have a better name for it. But as an aside, do you think it's odd that spellcheck finds nothing wrong with the word "Starbucks"? They truly have taken over the world.
Anyway, while I wait for child #3 at gymnastics four hours a week, that's next door. And a few weeks ago as I sat working, I noticed something odd above my head. Fireworks. No, not directly above my head. That would be odd. But out the window and right across the street. I mean real fireworks, not a few sparks set off randomly by drunken people who went up to Wisconsin for bottle rockets. A full on, serious fireworks display, in the middle of December. What?
The truly odd thing, though, was not fireworks in December, odd as that was. It was that no one else in the entire coffee shop noticed. No one looked up. No one seemed to realize that the equivalent of July 4th was going on right outside the window. I started seriously to worry that I had finally lost my mind and only I could see them. But no, eventually two kids noticed, so for the moment at least, I felt sane again.
It made me ponder, though--how many things go on right outside my "window" that I never notice? How wrapped up in whatever trivial thing I'm doing do I get that I miss the fabulous right in front of me? That's why I've enjoyed driving child #3 to school every morning at 7. I would never really look at a sunrise otherwise.
Last year, I went through the book The Happiness Project with a group of friends. http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/ Cannot recommend that book enough--read it in 2012. In it one of the keys to happiness she mentions is mindfulness--"The cultivation of conscious, nonjudgmental awareness." In other words, paying attention. In our multitasking world, how much do we really pay attention to what's in front of us, be it children, spouse, or "simply" a sunrise?
A good goal for 2012.
And by the way, I googled it when I got home and discovered that the fireworks were for the Hindu holiday Diwali. Now I know.