Bringing Out The Color
In a matter of a few minutes, we could probably tell someone who knew nothing about us the basic pattern of our days. It would be a broad brush stroke, but pretty easy to lay out what goes into a typical day — from morning routines to the day to day of work, children, pets, caring for loved ones, friends, our intentions around exercise, and other things that make up a “normal” day. What would get missed in the broad brushstroke, however, is the sweetness, the messy parts, the little details that put color into the picture.
I think that beauty in the world – the vibrancy of all the different colors, the textures, the rainbows, all the variant shades of gray – all of these layers that give depth to beauty can only grow if we remember to notice them. Perhaps noticing – and giving voice to the noticing – allows some of that beauty to seep into the spaciousness that exists in each of us as we walk through the days, and the weeks, and the months.
A few months ago, I asked some of my colleagues to share the details that put color into their days. This is what came out.
~My little moments of joy in the morning; the colorful conversations of the people I talk to; being hyper-aware of people’s moods or personal appearance (what they’re wearing, hairstyles, etc.); the feeling of warmth from the sun on my skin during my breaks (when I take them); the variety and nutrition in my meals; things I do outside of work that let my mind roam free and wake up with fresh new ideas.
~Relaxing with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. Driving with the top down. Noticing little changes in my body as my fitness training progresses. Sharing time with those who enjoy my company.
~Enjoying a home cooked meal, while discussing the events of the day with my family.
~Five kids between us, teens to 10, a fabulous garden by where I park my car, runs in Montana, biking with the kids, family dinners, fresh lilacs picked for me, travels, plans, fun, boating on the most gorgeous lake in the area.
~Reading a few minutes from a good book. Discussing movies and shows with my wife. A glass of really nice wine, unusual stout or an Islay Scotch like Laphroig. And a good workout and stretch. Planning and cooking a fun meal, preferably Thai, Indian, Persian or other Middle Eastern fare.
~How excited my 9 month old puppy is to see me every morning, and every time I come home, and every time I step into the room for that matter. How happy I feel when I get home from my late shifts and see my fiancé in the kitchen preparing one of his amazing meals or when he walks through the door after one of his late work nights. Waking up at the cabin and seeing the sun rising over the lake when the world has that sense of calm that isn’t repeated at any other time of the day.
~Giggles and laughter! Especially the belly-bending, whole body shaking laughs!
~Celebrating and reflecting on my precious moments, time spent with family and friends, deeper and more meaningful relationships, being grateful to individuals for how they have touched my life, and finding moments for creativity, a spur of the moment dance celebration, or relaxing moments in nature or a swimming pool that helps to bring me the balance and splash of color among my daily routines.
~The bright morning sun, green grass on early morning dog walks, the vibrant buzz of the Wellness Center in full swing (including people’s electric workout outfits!), picking favorite pens to take notes during meetings or leave a note on a colleagues desk.
~My daughter’s smile that lights up a room. Watching her interact so sweetly with her friends and family.
~My husband’s smiles, my daughter’s caring attitude and sweet notes, text from son saying “love you too!” Orioles on the birdfeeder, bobcats crossing the bridge, Cooper our dog trying to say hello to a horny toad in the morning or to a tarantula in the evening. Cool evenings on the porch enjoying a Stella.
~Looking at the world through the camera lens. How something changes completely just because I changed the angle in which I am looking at it. Capturing it and having that moment, that beautiful piece of the world, to come back to.
These reflections come from a wide range of individuals-some work in a corporate office, some work from home, some spend most of their time in the city, some make a point to exist mostly outside the city limits. Some are in their first job out of college, some have been working for 30 years at the same organization. They live all over the country. What they have in common, though, is an appreciation for the details that invite layers of color into their days and a willingness to give a voice to those things in the midst of a modern, probably busy, human life.
So as we approach the American holiday of Thanksgiving, what are some of the details that bring out the color in your days?