“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil
I read this quote over the weekend and it got me thinking about who and what I give my attention to. These past few weeks have been very interesting for us as a family as we have been living with a lot less stuff in a much smaller space. It’s got me thinking about minimalism and what that really looks like in the real world and what the benefits might be of a life less cluttered with things.
These past few weekends have been heavenly. We’ve taken off for quick trips into the mountains and spent time together hiking, playing, eating, and just generally being together. There have been minimal screens and lots of singing along to the radio and reading books and trying to see who can swing the highest at the park. I’ve found myself listening more to my kids and husband (lots of good talks to be had outside on a trail!) and also just enjoying being with them in silence looking at the beautiful scenes around us.
This giving of one’s attention is something that is easily lost in the busy day to day of real life. We can all spout off what is important to us, but when we stop and analyze what really gets our attention I think we would be disappointed in ourselves.
And it’s not just others that deserve our attention. Giving yourself the time and space for whatever is important to you- meditating, creating, exercising, unplugging- is as generous a gift and makes life more than a calendar full of to do lists and meetings.
I’ve been thinking about how to carry this home with me and apply it to my life from now on. How can my husband and I keep giving each other and our children this gift of our attention as fall begins and with it the onslaught of modern day life? How can we find these moments and model to our children what it means to share a life with someone when we’re not somewhere as picturesque as a little mountain town?
With all the changes in my life over the past few months, this focus and clarity seems like a natural step in shaping my life into something that feels authentic and makes me proud. I hope to check in and share my thoughts as the months go on so I can reflect and hold myself accountable. Giving attention to what gets my attention I guess? In the meantime I will be soaking up as many hikes and mountain scenes as I possibly can to carry with me home to Dallas.