Are you breathing? I am serious. When is the last time you actually took a deep breath? We are in the midst of that time of year when many of us are actually not breathing. Okay, not literally, but you know what I mean: life on auto pilot. Each and every move programmed by the long list of holiday must dos added to all of the other stuff you do week in and week out. So get ready, I have the perfect present, the thing you really want most…here is my gift to you. PAUSE. Pull the tissue back. Take a long look. That’s right; your gift is a pause. It is a wonderful break, a deep breath, a glance around your world and a brilliant moment to reflect on your day. PAUSE.
This gifting idea is not mine. Years ago a dear friend gave me a beautiful book entitled (you guessed it!), The Pause: A Christmas Gift. Author Keith Gaddy Davis shares a poignant story about a co-worker who, one harried impossible year, gave him a gift-wrapped “pause.” A favorite quote from his wonderful book is: “No matter how often you use it, it is never the worse for wear. Remarkably it remains…undiminished, even if you give it away.” I love that! Every time I give it away it is still there for me. Isn’t that a near perfect sentiment for this time of the year? Everyone you know, including yourself, can use a pause.
And the part about the pause never wearing out is true. Another extra is that the reminder to pause can become a habit. Once a habit it expands. It expands into great things like volunteering to help others (remove their stressors!), long phone calls to missed family and friends and my personal favorite – frequent long weekend getaways! These things are important. Let me put it another way. We recharge our smart phones, iPads and laptops; don’t we deserve the same? Yes, of course we do. And, that is what a pause can lead to, a chance to recharge and refresh.
If you fully enjoy your pause, I hope you will consider a winter break to Alexandria, MN. This winter season is going to be a great time to get out of town. Call friends. Set a date with your spouse. Talk to the family. Make a reservation. Check out Alexandria’s variety of lodging options for your getaway.
Are you breathing now? I hope you enjoy your gift. There is no gift receipt. It can’t be returned. It never expires. It is a state of mind. It is a place of balance. Give it away to someone important in your life. Please use it often. You won’t be disappointed. Merry Christmas!