Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Live a Life of Beauty

In a recent conversation with a dear friend, she mentioned how she had decided to live a life of beauty. Instantly intrigued, I asked what she meant by that.

"Well, it's about choices. For example, which would you rather do? Sit down to dinner with the depressing evening news blasting from the TV. The dishes are tossed haphazardly on the table, but you hardly notice because you're too busy shoveling some non-descript boxed food down your throat while watching the woes of the world. Or...

Would you rather sit down to a nicely laid table complete with cheery tablecloth and a small bouquet of flowers. Happy music is playing softly in the background and the meal, while not gourmet, is delicious, simply prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients?"

I caught myself nodding in agreement. The latter is definitely the much more pleasant option, but what about the time factor? Do we have time for such 'beauty,' I asked.

"Sure! The most important thing is to be aware. Be conscious of your actions. Once you've managed that all it takes is a small amount of preparation. For instance, if you decide you'd like to enjoy your meals in the way we mentioned, be on the lookout for something to cover your table. It could be a conventional tablecloth but a lovely quilt or a length of charming fabric would work just as well. Next when you're at the grocery store, its just as easy to pick up a few fresh ingredients as it is to pick up boxed junk. Oh, and grab an inexpensive bouquet of flowers while you're at it. Have a small CD player in the dining room with your favorite music nearby. Learn a few simple cooking techniques and voila...you have a delicious, lovingly prepared meal in under half an hour."

My friend was on to something huge! I decided I wanted to also live a life of beauty. I took a small amount of time out of my weekend and came up with these changes:

  • A music area that has a collection of my favorite CDs
  • Flowers are now a staple permanently written on my 'grocery' list
  • I strung white twinkly (Christmas) lights around my ficus trees
  • I pulled some lovely pieces from my fabric stash, cut and have them neatly folded for tablecloths

I now sing more, I dance and I smell flowers. Cooking has become a pleasurable, almost soulful end to a busy day and mealtime, well, I'd rather sit at my own lovingly prepared table than dine out now. Those few hours of preparation have increased the quality of my life immeasurably. And that's just the beginning. I now look everyday for new ways to 'Live a Life of Beauty.' And you...what will you do?