For years, I have heard the word intention used and thrown around. I will make an intentional decision. I am choosing to live with intention. I never gave much thought to the word, or the power it holds until recently.
This past holiday season was by far the happiest and one of the best holiday seasons I have experienced. We did not have a lot of money, but my daughter and I had each other and time. It was magical. We had conversations discussing how we wanted to spend the season. We intentionally planned the perfect holiday.
Gift giving was much simpler too. We only bought for each other and our dogs. And our limited budget made us truly think about what to get each other. For the first time ever, the holidays were about time together, making memories, and not gifts. I can’t say for B, but I loved every minute of them. Not focusing on gift giving reduced our stress levels. Driving around looking at Christmas lights was magical, not a waste of time and gas. I haven’t experienced a holiday season like that since I was a child.
This year has been filled with intentional decisions and moments as well. While we financially have less, we have more. We are intentionally scheduling time together, and time for fun. We are supporting each other’s dreams, and helping each other achieve them. No matter the challenges that come, we are facing them together. And for the first time in a very long time, we are taking the time to celebrate achievements.
And I have to say, we are happier than we have ever been. Being intentional has created a sense of peace and joy, even success for us. Rather than aimlessly wasting time and money, we are intentionally choosing how we spend both. Having less has taught us the value of ourselves and our ability to be amazing just as we are.
As a writer, I know the power of words. Words have started wars, ended careers, and sparked love. And yet, while I love words, I forgot the power of intention. When we are intentional, we choose to make the best choice for ourselves in the moment. We ponder our options, we put thought and effort into the decision. Rather than making a quick, flippant decision, we reflect and put effort into the choices we make.
These last months have forever changed me. I don’t want to go back to the days of throwing money around, focusing on things and not people. I have come to love a simpler life, a life lived with intention. I am thankful for these changes, for learning the value of living with intention. It’s funny how life knows exactly what you need and takes the time to teach you these lessons.
Sara Orellana lives in Oklahoma City and writes a weekly column for The Lawton Constitution.