A life of small moments

Every moment matters – not just the big ones, but also the small ones, the seemingly irrelevant ones and the quiet ones. All of these moments add up to a life well lived.

Don’t take the presumably unimportant moments for granted. Look for them and treasure them instead. Listen for the words unspoken. Notice the quick glance. Feel the soft touch. The long-held hugs. The sadness. The graciousness. The in-between.

The magical sweet spots between tiny and massive moments are your life.

Don’t forget to pay attention to them. In the end, this is really all we have.

from 25 February: “A Year of Positive Thinking” by Cyndie Spiegel

From late September through November, I was in a rut of depression and on the verge of not wanting to live. It was instigated by one significant incident and then all of life’s challenges decided to piled on top. I asked myself, “What is the point of all this? To face wave after wave of endless challenges and struggles, in exchange for small, fleeting moments like a cappuccino on the deck, a slice of comedy or delicious cake, or gazing at the horizon with a dear friend? It’s not worth all the trouble.”

It has been a long journey, but I’m starting to climb out of this rut and see the sun behind the clouds. The sum of all of these small, fleeting moments in my life has built a stronger foundation for living than a few significant things could. It’s easy to forget these moments. It’s also hard to force myself to appreciate something in the moment. I love the view of the Cascade Mountains from my neighborhood, but I’ve grown so used to it over the past 2 years that I cannot force myself to feel awed anymore, not unless I’ve gone away for several days and return later.

However, the discrete historian in me has captured small, fleeting moments in subtle ways. Photos of small, interesting things like tiny turkey-tail mushrooms growing on a slender tree trunk, a Lima street dog napping in a funky position, a little girl chasing falling sakura blossoms into her hat. Journal entries noting these things and my reactions and feelings abouat them. Recounting with my husband how the carioca pigeons, dogs and people were all lapping agua de coco in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I think it’s okay to not always appreciate all the small, fleeting moments in life. But know that there are ways to rekindle their spark, and like a mycelium network in the forest, they form a foundation that cannot be broken.


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