“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” – Henry David Thoreau
My oldest thought she was having a bad day. One of her company’s clients was unhappy and her boss told her to figure out how to make them happy. The contractor working on her house didn’t show up again for the third day in a row but they mailed her an invoice for “work to be done” and she wanted me to tell her if I thought they were waiting for more money before they showed up again. Oh, and it was raining and she couldn’t find a spot in the garage so she was going to get wet.
When I get text like this from my kids I just smile. They are having grow-up problems, or “opportunities” as I like to call them and nothing makes me happier. It means, simply, I got them to the parenting finish line and now I can relax and pick and choose which battles I want to help them attack. I am still paying for one of my kids college, masters headed for a PhD, cell phones, insurance, but for the most part one is independent and the other is 75% independent.
In response to my oldest “rantings” I texted her “Try to find the joy in the moment” which apparently wasn’t the answer she was looking for from dear old Dad. Radio silence.
How many moments are in a day? Is it 86,400 seconds worth? Is each second a moment or does a moment have some definition or relevance? I like to think a moment has space, space you can see, feel and hear. Maybe it tingles, makes the hair on your neck stand-up, or it gives you goosebumps. Or maybe it passes you by and you remember later that you should have stopped and soaked it in.
Life is filled with moments, some we forget, some we want to forget, and others are burned into our hearts. The first time I saw my wife’s face in a crowded bar. Holding each of my children for the first time. Leaving my grandfather in the hospital not knowing it would be the last time I would ever speak to him again. Moments can contain joy, pain or equal parts of both.
As I have gotten older, as my clock winds down, I have gotten much better at recognizing and appreciating each and every moment. Most may seem pedestrian, and uneventful but honestly that is what life’s all about, the routine and mundane. That is the reason most of us miss the moments in our life. They swirl by us in the fog of sameness that we take for granted. We can’t recognize them because we are so busy waiting for the spectacular ones.
Grab at least one moment everyday and hold it close to your heart, a long forgotten song on the radio, an act of kindness, the beauty of a sunset, your dog’s excitement at the door, the pain of homeless man, or the tears of a woman burying her spouse. Each moment you absorb opens the door for so many more. You can’t just accept the good without the bad. Joy is the drug we long for and pain is the growth we need. Find your moments.
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam