“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
― Emily Dickinson
What is it about reminiscing about the past that has such a strong grip on us? I recently went through some old photographs. I felt a combination of great joy from the photos but also a bit melancholy. I suppose looking at all those photos reminded me how fleeting time truly is.
My grandfather is a superior memory maker. He takes videos at every holiday, and captures every family member. His passion has definitely made an impact. Many of the people he featured in videos were his brothers and sister who are now deceased. Most of the video footage is simple, just showing them doing every day things like sitting and eating and laughing in their most comfortable state. I know my grandfather and grandmother cherish these live moments captured of their siblings.
One Thanksgiving my grandfather turned the video to me as I was eating. I was giving advice on something, and my grandpa said “Tiffy, say something”. I remember feeling not in the mood to talk to the camera (I’m never in the mood to do anything for the camera), so I hurriedly and selfishly said a sarcastic greeting. I was so sad because I would have actually loved to see myself smiling and enjoying the moment with my grandfather. Instead I was busy giving some advice to someone.
Time flies. Life gets busy. My calendar takes over my days and I worry about getting to bible studies, making it on time to appointments I have booked, making sure all my chores are done and Lillian makes it to her doctors visits and so on. The thing is, new chores and life demands never seem to stop pouring in. So time continues to pass. Yet the times I remember and cherish are the moments that sneak up on you. These memories are usually nothing remarkable. They are little moments. The squeeze of a hand. The look of delight. A friend pouring her heart out. Just being with someone and not even doing much at all.
It seems that in life, the time that freezes are the moments we don’t plan and just let happen. It is these precious times that life becomes organic and authentic.
I find Emily Dickinson’s quote both frightening and wonderful. Each moment is so precious and only happens once. Other moments may come that remind us of the past, but each moment is unique and one of a kind. When I ponder that it makes me realize how pressing some needs truly are, and how other needs that seem pressing can actually wait a day or two.
Now, sometimes things must get done. I just think I am the type to worry about the demands and meetings over the still moments that really define life.
My goal for this week is to enjoy life without agendas or expectations. I want to just let it be and see what comes. Being aware that each moment in life only comes once does make it sweeter and changes how I respond to both people and demands.
What precious moments are you passing up on due to life demands or expectations?
Let me share some things that happened this week:
Our power went out, so I ate left over cold pancakes.
I wore slippers to the dentist. And forgot to brush my teeth before.
I had banana in my hair for almost two hours before someone pointed that out.
I left my keys in the door on the outside.
I enjoyed vanilla ice cream and wine in the same sitting.
My days have gotten crazy. I am staying at home with Lillian currently so I have no excuse to forget plans or not have my house looking pristine. But most days usually look like me as a frazzled mess and my daughter in her pajamas still at 3pm.
For example, last week I had made plans to go with some friends to brunch at one of my favorite little restaurants. I knew all week about it and looked forward to it. Then Saturday morning rolled around and I got up and decided I wanted to make breakfast with my hubby. We had walked to the store in our PJ’s and came back with all the supplies. Then I get a text that the table is reserved for a half hour later! What was I thinking?! I rushed into the shower, half blaming my husband for not reminding me of my plans and also cursing at myself for getting so absent minded.
See, having a daughter has made my life so busy. But I am never sure what it is that keeps me so busy. Yes, we go on walks and to the library and meet moms for baby dates and then there are errands to do and chores to keep and oh yeah- exercise and my quiet times! Yet normal, working people do all this plus have social lives and kids. So what is wrong with me?
After beating myself up for a week about it and deciding to get a calendar I came to a realization. There aren’t “normal” people. I made this concept up. I am comparing myself to something that doesn’t exist. I gather ideas on pinterest and feel defeated knowing I might do one this year. I compare myself to the top cooks, gals with toned bodies, and moms who do it all. The bottom line is there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. If I did, I would miss the precious moments that creep up on you. Life happens. Things come up that must be dealt with. My daughter wants to play or my hubby wants to chat. I want to be engaged. I need to stop focusing on the illusion of what I want to be and just be me.
With all this said, I better go. After typing with one hand for so long holding my baby I think it’s time to give her my full attention. 🙂