December 18, 2012

Time is a funny thing. Days seem to creep by, the minutes ticking slowly into hours. Yet, the months rush past, blurring into years. One moment you’re a kid, the next, you’re an adult. And with the rush of the holidays, the short days with scare sunshine in Seattle, and the tragedies that have played out across the United States this last week, time seems even more precious.

Every moment counts. But, we’re not savoring those moments.

We rush. We run. We try to do more. Do more stuff. Be more awesome. Shoot more weddings. Blog more stuff. Go go go.

It has to stop. Life is not the 100 meter dash. It’s a marathon. Something we need to take our time at, slow down and savor. Dig in for the long haul. It won’t be over in a minute.

All this sprinting through life has taken away our ability to savor life. To enjoy the moments as they come. To really live those moments, without tweeting or pinning or tagging. This month, I’ve stopped. I won’t do it any more. I can say no. Time in the most precious gift we can give. Our time. I’ve cut back. I take my time to read a book. I sit down and eat a full meal. I try my best to walk, not run. And when it comes to Christmas, we’ve cut back and looked at our priorities. It’s not about buying the most impressive gifts, or getting the most expensive gadgets. It’s about time. It’s about spending time with the people you love. Because those moments are precious. Because what the last week has shown, is that you never know what moment will be your last. When I look back at the last year, I see a lot of photos that I took. And maybe I’ll still make a 2012 in Review post. But what I see more are the moments. I see the time spent with family and friends. I see Montana.

We try every August to spend a weekend in Montana. Our friend’s family owns a cabin on a small, secluded lake. With no cell phone service, no television, no internet, it’s a break from insanity. Our first morning, I crept out at sunrise and did yoga on the dock. I sat on the damp, gray wood, and felt the rocking. The chill of a Montana morning creeping into my bones. The silence was comforting. I could hear the fish jumping, the birds calling, the lap of the waves on the shore. I sat there until my fingers and toes were numb, then went back up the stairs and fell into bed for a few more hours. The days passed, full of sun and water and laughter and joy. And each night, I’m once again on the dock. Looking up at the stars. So many stars. The magnitude of the sky, the smallness of my own life, it’s all there. And the peace those stars bring me, it fills me.

I strive to find that peace in my everyday life. To lead a life full of living, not full of things. Life is precious. Time is precious. People are precious. Someday, we will all be nothing but memories. Do you want a life filled with things or a life filled with living?

On the days when I’m stressed, when I’m beat up by the do more, be more, buy more society we live in, I pull my heart back to Montana. To the rocking of the dock, to the warm sunshine, to the stars.

Lindberg Lake Montana Stars


  1. Ah, Emily – I love this for so many reasons. The message of peace, time, calm. And Montana. Love that.

    • Thank you Kent! Montana is very near to my heart.


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photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?