“Am I tough? Am I strong? Am I hard-core? Absolutely.
Did I whimper with pathetic delight when I sank my teeth into my hot fried-chicken sandwich? You betcha.”
― James Patterson
Savoring is such a simple happiness habit. It is, simply put, the unpretentious act of enjoying, relishing, delighting, and appreciating a taste, a sensation, a moment, an experience.
I adore savoring for how individual and luxurious it is. It doesn’t matter if you are eating Cheetos and drinking MillerLight, or if you are tucking into a plate of Moule Frites and a glass of Chardonnay. What matters is whether or not you are invested enough, in that moment, to appreciate your experience.
You can savor a Cheeto or a stalk of asparagus. The entire point is to absolutely spend a moment truly tasting the crunch of the Cheeto, appreciating the salty-orange cheesy flavoring on your fingers, or to notice the beautiful green hue and the perfect-sounding snap as you break off the asparagus ends.
And, yet we often do not allow ourselves the simple act of noticing, relishing; savoring.
Practice Savoring this Summer:
Summer is a great time to turn our attention savoring and the happiness boost this easy habit is able to provide for us. Summer is full of amazing flavors: tender new potatoes, crunchy snap peas, and ripe strawberries. It is full of sensuous sensations: warm sun on skin; sand between toes; tickling grass as we stretch out on the lawn. It is a visual feast: flowers, birds, butterflies, sunset skies, clouds, and the list could go on for pages.
It is also easy to rush through summer as we rush to pack in as many activities as we possibly can: yard work and gardening which must be done; organizing garage sales; and galloping towards full-on weekend fun of camping, hiking, or boating.
Savor the Moment.
Start your day savoring – head outside and spend a moment or two barefoot, coffee-cup in hand, savoring the warm, gentle air and the grass between your toes. This is not the time to start making a list of all the yard work that needs to be done, as tempting as it might be. Savoring is simply being able to appreciate your yard in the state it is in; or the flowers in the container garden on your deck.
Savor the Future.
Summer is packed with activities we’ve been craving since snow and cold blanketed Wisconsin. A key to savoring is to allow ourselves to experience the bubbly sensation of anticipation.
As adults we often squash our sense of anticipation, not wanting to disappoint ourselves, get our hopes up; we’ve come to feel our excitement leads to unusually high expectations for an event. (What we forget is this: if we commit to being in the moment, once the event arrives, whatever happens, moment to moment, it will be and turn out OKAY.)
We lose out on the happiness boost we get by looking forward to something, anything: a trip around the square at the Farmers’ Market; an evening dancing on the Terrace roof-top; eating a bowl of ridiculously rich frozen custard; planning a vacation out west.
Savor the Past.
I used to think posting photos of trips and outings on Facebook was a bit pretentious or pompous. However, after exploring the concept of savoring, I’ve changed my mind. Posting to Facebook can be a fantastic way to savor a memory and allow us to share and celebrate an event. The same goes for the annual Holiday letters, at which people like to poke fun; they are simply a way to acknowledge the special memories of a year.
So, go ahead, buy a little memento of your trip. Display it where you can see it and smile on a dreary Wednesday morning when the bills are due and dishes have stacked up on the counter. Select your favorite photos from the summer. Get them into frames so you can relish that memory well into the icy-cold winter.
Savor and Express.
Yes, you might feel or sound a little weird at first, but, speaking up and stating it, out loud, what you are appreciating, delighting in, anticipating, or remembering, is one of the biggest happiness boosts you can give yourself. So, go ahead, and share with those around you, what you are simply savoring.
Here’s to Savoring!