“To Take Delight”

May 06, 2011

I finished a large (for me) writing project late on Wednesday, and when I shared that information with a friend the next day, she said in an email, “That must feel good to have those articles done and delivered! Hope you're taking time to savor that feeling.”

Uh, not really.

What I did instead was rush right into the next things on my to-do list. Because other areas of my life had been neglected while I concentrated on my deadline, instead of taking the time to feel good about what I’d just done, I felt I had to leap into action and get those areas back in line. Instead of focusing on what I'd done, I focused on what was left undone. It wasn't until after I read and thought about what my friend wrote that I began to allow myself to savor a feeling of accomplishment.

To savor is to take delight in something. Accomplishing something you set out to do, like meeting a challenging deadline, is something to savor. I write frequently about slowing down and appreciating what we have—probably because these are lessons I’m still learning. These concepts are important to me. Perhaps through reading and writing about them, I’ll finally learn the lessons for good. Or maybe those lessons don’t get learned “for good”—rather, each time I revisit them, I explore some new nuance or facet of the concept. I think I do a pretty decent job of appreciating the good things in my life...maybe it's now time for me to learn to take delight in my own accomplishments.

Maybe you can help me with this process. How do you savor your accomplishments and the good things in your life? Whatever you do, I hope you have much to savor this weekend.

Something to savor

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  1. Congratulations on finishing your project. It's awfully easy to just go on to the next thing and not savor what you've done, but good for you for realizing it (even if it took a friend's comment to point it out to you). I just started an online class called 21 Days of Gratitude where we're doing a gratitude journal, and I'm hoping that it will help me with that issue - to really focus on the good in my life and to appreciate it.

  2. Thanks, Cheryl. Is your class on the gratitude journal art-based? (I'm amazed at how many classes you take!)

  3. I'm a bit of a class junkie all right. I might need a 12-step program, but I don't WANT to quit! LOL!!

  4. Lately my accomplishments have been finished classes as I am a class junkie too. I used to make a list of my accomplishments because I'd somehow gotten to thinking I wasn't doing anything. Now I either blog about it (you could make a tag "accomplishments") or I have a class journal to show for it and my little stack of them makes me happy as I have learned something in each class.

    I just told my son who bought his first house this year to keep a list of what he does to the house so he will feel good about where all his money has gone at the end of the year. You are a list maker so I would make a nice, decorated, prominent one on which to keep track of your writing (and other) accomplishments.

    I am glad your friend reminded you to take some moments to savor a job well-done. Writing is important to you so you really should savor each and every milestone with it.

  5. Timaree--Great idea, making a list of your accomplishments. It is way too easy to forget all we do every day, every week, every year. Perhaps I will start that list.

  6. Oh boy! I can SO relate to your posting. I find myself in the same situation, completing a project and jumping right to the next one because of all of the things left undone...and (yikes) do I have a list. I took on an extra project right before I became ill, so of course there are many things stacked up, overflowing, and tipping over.

    But...you made me think. I do take time to savor a few moments when I make sure I have a good breakfast every morning. I realize that it would be nourishing to the soul if could do that when I complete a project as well. It would be so much better if I acknowledged my accomplishment than merely crossing it off of my to-do list. Thank you for the gentle reminder!

  7. Lovely, thoughtful post, Kathy. I think, for me, the key to savoring is to be aware. That is, not to allow my mind to be crowded with "stuff" so that there's room for appreciation and delight. In a sense, it's like being a kid... that unbridled, unabashed enthusiasm and joy for life.

  8. Elizabeth--Why do we do that to ourselves? It's good to start with what you already do to savor life and go from there. Sorry to hear you've been sick; hope you're all recovered now.

  9. Teresa--It would be good for me to be aware of what I've accomplished before I become "aware" of what else is waiting for me! I love the image of unbridled joy and enthusiasm for living--may we all have more of it.