BE AN ESPONJA*
BY JENNY OUGHTON
I learned this simple and valuable message while traveling through the countryside of Costa Rica. I was studying abroad for two months and traveled with a group of students all over the country. While on our school bus, we would all chat and listen to music and our professor constantly said, “Be an esponja. Stop talking. Stop doing. Take in what is around you.” After looking out the window and shutting out the rest of the world, I began to take advantage of the scenery and this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Taking for granted what is around us is so easy to do. Everybody needs a little “shut up” time every once in a while. I experienced this again recently after purchasing my first house and dog. I was running around like crazy and didn’t notice how this was taking a toll on my new puppy. I would normally take him for a walk and when we came back, he would huff and puff, but I would instantly go around the house taking care of loose ends. He follows me everywhere and if I don’t rest, he doesn’t either. One day after a walk, I decided he needed to recoup before following my every move so I took an “esponja moment” and sat in the kitchen and stared at the wall for 5 minutes while he caught his breath. It was nice to sit in silence, slow down and take in what was around me. A new house. A new dog. What a cool accomplishment.
I learned to let go of my control over situations every once in a while and just sit back and be and esponja.
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