Last night I went out for dinner with my son, his girlfriend and her Mum. It was a simple evening, quiet, conversational, leisurely. Good company accompanied by some tasty chinese food brought to us by an elderly, efficient and super-friendly waiter. The waiter’s face had a thousand stories to tell, his eyes held the kind of wisdom and sincerity some people develop as they age, and his hands showed he’d worked very hard for many years. We didn’t know him but he probably knew plenty about us in the few hours we spent in his restaurant.
Over the course of the evening we shared amusing anecdotes about the teenagers childhoods – no doubt to their horror. We heard about the pros and cons of living in multi-occupancy student accommodation. Both teens conclude sharing limited space with students of indefinite hygiene standards is a challenge; as mothers we were inclined to agree. We debated whether the weather was set to improve at all – we’re British and it rains a lot so we’re genetically predisposed to this conversation. We talked about Christmas, how quickly it comes around and what it might be like this year given the way all our lives have changed significantly. We had plenty of normal, everyday conversation while savouring our oriental delicacies and I enjoyed every moment.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had few opportunities like this of late so my awareness of the many simple things we commonly take for granted is heightened. Our lives have become so busy, so intense, so all or nothing, so robotic these days. We overlook so much and take so many things for granted. It’s not intentional, I think we simply forget to stop, look, listen and enjoy.
But I feel we’re missing out on something very special. Something that’s free and all around us if only we’d stop to look. When we take time to appreciate the simple things there’s so much more to enjoy, so much more to be happy about, so much more to celebrate. I hope our teenagers will realise now, not later, that there’s infinetly more to life if we simply pause to let life in.