Twenty-five years ago, when the kids were still at home and I was single-mindedly focused on money and career and being a single parent, I let my stress-filled state define and motivate me.

Now, with just as much ambition as I ever had, I rarely use adrenaline as an energy source. And I don’t sweat the small stuff the way I used to when it appeared everything was big stuff.

Ditching the constant striving has freed me up to do something I could rarely do before: stop to savor special moments. It’s an act that forces you to slow down, focus and, however briefly, appreciate.

I had two such opportunities last week.

The first was being interviewed by the superlative New York broadcast host, Audrey Adams. There I was in the studio, wearing headphones and speaking into a sponge-covered mike half the size of my head. Audrey made the interview engaging, challenging and fun, and I stopped briefly in my tracks just to acknowledge, and revel in, the deliciousness of the moment.

The second was seeing Michael Feinstein perform a history of jazz concert at Lincoln Center. I’d seen him and that performance hall on PBS countless times, but as enjoyable as that was, it doesn’t compare with the experience of hearing him live while watching the perpetual motion of Columbus Circle traffic below the giant glass window.

The older I get, the more these moments – first experienced and then remembered – fuel me more effectively than the constant striving ever did.

Is that true for you, too?   And I’m curious: What do you savor now?

For more information on the delightful Audrey Adams click here.

For more about Michael Feinstein at Lincoln Center click here.


8 responses to “SAVORING”

  1. Jari Searns says:

    Hi George,

    You know, sometimes you have the uncanny ability to provide insight at exactly the right time. As Rick an I are struggling right now with the many problems of a start-up, I spent yesterday at our pool, reading a very good book and simply savoring the peaceful enjoyment of a quiet Summer afternoon.

    It was lovely and helped me to re-focus (however momentarily) on those small things that make life worth living and help one put the stress of everyday living into a better context!

    Needless to say, I liked your article…a lot!


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  2. Barbara Bechelli says:

    I savor over and over again the very wise words that a high school teacher (and mentor), Mrs. Pyle, said to me: “Always remember one thing: Your emotions don’t age.” That never ceases to amaze me.

    One of my very wise brothers said to me recently when we were having a discussion about being a parent (his 40-year old daughter and two sons recently moved in “temporarily” to live with him and their mother). He very calmly said: “You have to pick your battles and then let go of them.”

    That simple statement helped me to lay down my sword and move away from anger.

    • George Schofield says:

      What a great piece of wisdom, Barbara. Thank you. It’s like the last part of the Serenity Prayer….”and the wisdom to know the difference”.

  3. Lisa Rubinstein says:

    Yes George, I totally agree. How lucky we are to have the perspective of appreciation. I am sitting in a small airport at the moment after five days with my 94-year-old mother. I have finally realized she is not who she was and can appreciate just sitting with her and sometimes talking, sometimes not. I am so lucky to have her still and can now be in her place, instead of trying to have her be in mine. Takes a lot of adjusting, but I am thankful I finally get it. Instead of being frustrated by these visits, I can enjoy them and the time we have together. Appreciation is a beautiful thing.

    • George Schofield says:

      One of the things my granddaughters reminded me, Lisa, is that they can only be the best 7 or 9 or 15 year old they can be. Your mom can only be the best 94 year old she can be. More is not a reasonable demand. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  4. You are so right, George. One of the gifts of aging is having more time and space to savor special moments. There is a lot that I savor at this life stage and almost all of it has to do with having more discretionary time. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the time I have for good things like grandchildren, exercising, preparing healthy food, starting each day gently and exploring.

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