Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.
…Sir John Lubbock

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. It’s become a day when I truly take “down time” to relax and allow my family to take care of me, and to give myself quiet time.  The chores, house projects, lawn, and work deadlines can wait for this brief amount of time. Don’t worry – they’ll always be there, so why rush?

Regardless if you are a mother, father, care-giver, mentor, friend – the label doesn’t matter. Recognize that these little holidays are here to remind us that we need to take time off to honor and love ourselves – and the relationships that deeply matter in our lives. It is also a great time to remember the wonderful times we’ve had with those who are no longer with us.

Put your tasks aside, and focus on love and restoration. Instead of buying *things* to show others how much you love them, give them your TIME, your presence.  For the McCormack household, that meant a quick picture with my girlies in front of our flower beds, while our glorious lavender phlox are in bloom, before we headed to a simple lunch.  The day is delightfully warm and sunny. It is easy to appreciate with deep gratitude these simple pleasures after a very long, cold, and snowy winter.

After you finish reading this reflection, be kind to yourself and others.  Call your mother and valued friends and tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Then, shut off your pc or tablet, charge your phone in another room, and go outside. Disconnect from your electronics, and “plug in” to the world and people around you here, right now.

Take off your shoes and dance through the spring grass and smell the flowers. Count clouds in the sky, take a walk or bike ride, or even listen to the song birds.  Enjoy spring – and the sense of renewal it brings. You’d be surprised how such simple measures will alleviate your stress levels. Go rest, restore, and refresh.

End the day simply, and with gratitude. With mindfulness, either focus on or write down how you feel after celebrating your down time, and consider what you are grateful for. Today is your time – give yourself permission to enjoy it!