I had a real “moment” this week.
You know what I mean – when an experience, an interaction, or something happens, and you notice it. You notice it as a special moment in your life that deserves attention, even though it might seem almost run-of-the-mill. Yeah, one of those.
This week, I was watching my two great-nieces, ages 6 and 3. We were making cutout cookies for Halloween. They had flour and colored icing everywhere – in their hair, all over faces, the floor, our clothes. It was hilarious. We were having such a great time. (I’m chuckling now just writing about it.) Let me tell you, they had me running – “We need blue, Aunt Jude! Wait, we need red, too. Ooooooh, purple!” As you can imagine, those finished cookies were something else. The moment was so perfect that I could only squeeze out a couple of really terrible pictures. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. The moment was mine.
It was one of those moments. I wanted it to stretch out for hours because I know too well how fleeting those times are, and once they’re gone, we’re left with the sweet memory, but a yearning for more. And that’s just what happened.
I wish I could recreate that moment again next week, but alas, it doesn’t work that way.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Moments are just that. Passing moments in time. Sometimes we don’t recognize them while they’re happening right in front of us, but oftentimes we do. And that’s what I want more of.
You’ve heard about making a Bucket List for your life, of course. A Bucket List itemizes all those experiences you want to have, places you want to go, things you want to have or do or see before the party’s over, so to speak.
That might be fun to do, but honestly, I just want more Moments in my life. A Moments List would be great, but I can’t really itemize those things since they happen in the moment, but I think I can do one better than a list.
I can practice remembering. And stopping to notice when I get that little tingle or thrill and I find myself smack dab in the middle of a moment. Do you recall a television commercial many years ago with the line “Celebrate the moments of your life.” It was for International Coffees. Maybe it’s a silly reference, but there’s meaning inside the sentiment of celebrating — or at least recognizing — those simple moments.
Just to clarify, I’m not talking necessarily about the BIG events in life, like weddings, births, graduations . . . although there may be special moments within the big event that have the greater oomph. But mostly I’m talking about the small everyday, easy-to-overlook moments that make our lives rich. Like the cookie-baking episode.
And others . . .
I remember one particular moment on my wedding day that was shared between my matron of honor and I. Every detail of that time, from where we were standing to the words exchanged is a moment I hold close, and dear.
Or the time when I was single and with my group of girlfriends on an average, nothing special Saturday night. We were hanging out at my place, having some wine, talking, playing some music, and then, we started dancing. The image of that moment of all of us dancing and laughing makes me smile to this day. And so do those women who are still an important part of my life.
One Summer night, Michael and I were sitting outside listening to music and he stood up and asked me to dance. Right there, in our little garden, just the two of us, under the stars. I’ll never forget the moment and how I felt.
And what could be classified as a special moment inside a BIG event, was when the doctor came into the waiting room and found five very anxious and on-edge grandparents-to-be and told us that all three of the triplets were perfect. In that moment, we shared a collective sigh of relief and then immediate euphoria. It was beautiful.
Yes, these are all memories of special times, but inside each memory is the moment that I can almost taste or smell or touch. It’s a moment that gives pause and depth to life. And yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
Perhaps my age is showing here. Everyday life is slowing down a bit and I can begin to take stock, as they say. But I don’t think that’s all of it. I think the practice of noticing those moments is a way for all of us to slow life down just a little, in order to truly embrace it, enjoy it, and find gratitude in all of it.
So maybe my Moments List will be an after the fact one, and that’s ok with me. As long as the moment itself is captured . . . in my heart and in the moment.
Wishing you many moments.
Till next time,