the importance of taking time

Last week I got knocked down by some sort of bug. It's been so long since I've gotten sick that I was a little surprised (among other things).

wildflowers, autumn, late summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The day I started coming down with it, I ignored it. I had a whole long list of things I wanted to do and I plowed through them. For some of the day I was so involved in a project that I didn't take time to drink anything and pushed lunch later and later.

Looking back I realize that if I had taken time, rested, hydrated, cared for myself, I probably wouldn't have gotten so sick.

I remind myself time and again to slow down and pay attention to life's beauty and joy. And that's important. It's also important to listen to our bodies. Pay attention to what they're telling us. It's important to slow down and rest. It's important to take time for ourselves with nothing on our agendas.

nasturtiums, vintage pitcher, avon pitcher, nasturtium bouquet, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's very easy to cut that sort of time out of our schedules. Because what it accomplishes isn't something that can be measured or quantified, it's easy to forget its importance.


I know it's not easy. It's something I continually need to work on. Something I fail at. Something I need to be reminded of again and again.

tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, garden tomatoes, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The beginning of autumn is a good time for fresh starts. A good time to cultivate new habits, to readjust schedules and begin new practices. I'm working rest and ease into my schedule as my new practice for the fall. And I'm re-committing, again, to my Joy Lists. I need to go back to writing them everyday.





I think we all could use more of them in our lives.

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

sunflowers, late summer, autumn, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Here's my list today:

  • cardinals, chickadees and an unknown yellow bird enjoying the seeds from my sunflowers
  • new legs for one of the tables in my studio (really a salvaged door), giving me a high workspace -- no more hunching over!
  • nasturtiums, nasturtiums, nasturtiums
  • discovering a huge, fat caterpillar on a walk
  • going out to pick tomatoes and being greeted by a black swallowtail
  • perfect weather
  • grasshoppers
  • tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes
  • reading
  • nesting and working on small projects for the house
  • cooking and eating good food
  • being out in nature
wildflowers, meadow, late summer, autumn, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What's on your Joy List today?


  1. Sorry to hear that you got sick Anne. I have slowed right down today. I have so much to do but have been writing lists instead. I haven't the energy to be productive. Things will just have to wait! As you have already seen on my blog, I have written today's joy list. I think your list is wonderful especially all the birds visiting your sunflower heads. I hope you have a lovely week ahead enjoying the late summer :)

    1. Thank you, Simone.

      Glad you're slowing down, too. And that you've been writing Joy Lists. It's so important for us to take time for reflection and gratitude (and rest).

      Have a wonderful rest of your week!


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