Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crafting Special Moments

A rose garden in my art journal...

The other evening, Mark and I ventured out for a picnic.  Beforehand, I took a few minutes to stock our careworn basket with a favorite tablecloth, a couple of stoneware plates, cloth napkins and silverware, while Mark packed the cooler with the foods and drinks.  Our meal was simple, but luscious:  hummus, pita chips, assorted raw veggies, cheese, sparkling water (for me), soft drinks (for him), and large, sweet strawberries to top it all off.

When it came to selecting a site, I asked Mark to do the honors.  Rather than opting for a nearby park, he did the unexpected; choosing the charming university campus, only a few miles from where we live (the same one where I enjoyed a recent artist’s date).  Being it was the weekend, it was the perfect spot as it was pretty much deserted.  We had the lovely brick patio (complete with café tables) overlooking a pretty pink rose garden all to ourselves (Yum!). 

Once unpacked, Mark asked me what type of music I would enjoy.  I eagerly responded, “Frank Sinatra!”  He made the selection on his iPhone, and a delicious stream of Rat Pack era tunes softly played as we ate and talked.  

On the way back home, we decided to stop for ice cream.  It was an exquisite experience—our delightful evening getaway. 

What I am learning is that it doesn’t take much…time, money or even innovative thinking to make the ordinary extraordinary.   Yes, we could have dined on our own brick patio overlooking our own flower garden.  That is always special as well, but we do this often in the summertime.  Instead, by doing a few things a bit differently, a uniquely beautiful memory was created that will stay with both of us for quite some time. 

I am striving to create more of these carefully-crafted experiences—not just for us as a couple—but for me, personally, as well.  The solo artist’s dates I savor, lunch break smoothies enjoyed from an outdoor café table, and writing my journal from the backyard in the evening with a cup of tea at hand and a favorite lantern lit with a pillar candle…  All are examples of this. 

Sometimes, it’s easy to convince myself that I am far too busy to make my day special.  But, the truth of the matter is that I always can--if I only choose to do so.  Often, it merely takes me making a few tweaks to whatever it is I was going to do in the first place.  And, what I know (but sometimes forget), is that the effort taken is always worth it.   

What little adjustments can you make to create special moments during your day?  T.