taking time.

From our Lead Area Director, Stephanie, as she undergoes a challenge:

“This week I joined staff in a challenge to eat only what is in my cupboards and to not watch TV.  For some reason this year it has been harder for me not to get caught up in the hectic pace of the holiday season.  This week has definitely been a challenge, and I have felt the tug of going against the cultural grain.  I also really needed the reminder to slow down and experience a little more gratitude for the abundance in my life.

Most of you probably don’t know that I live above a gourmet market and love to cook.  Every day there is some perfect excuse to walk downstairs and buy some fruit, chocolate, or the occasional late night snack of potato chips.  So I was expecting to feel the strain of clearing out my cupboards and living on boxed foods.  I was not, however, expecting to miss TV.  I arrived home from a long day of work and errands on Monday to find the next four episodes of season four of The Wire in my mailbox.  I wanted nothing more than to sink into my couch and absorb myself in another world for an hour or two.  But I couldn’t. 

Instead I ate a late dinner of leftovers while drawing a bath.  I started a new book and got an extra hour of sleep.  Relaxation during the Christmas season?  In my life, this was practically unheard of.  I used my extra time to slow down enough to take a different attitude towards the season and appreciate the fullness of my life, every day. 

I was also amazed to realize just how often I am offered food!  From holiday cookies to home cooked meals, every day this week someone was generously tempting me to sit down and socialize while sharing something delectable.  I am well aware that this is not everyone’s reality, even in a wealthy country like the U.S.  I have been asked for money for food this week which has helped me to reflect on what it means to have full cupboards to come home to.  The question posed in the challenge was ‘how much is enough?’  This challenge has helped me reflect on exactly how much I have to be grateful for this Christmas.”

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