Recently I had a conversation with my uncle (hi, Gary!!) and we were talking about how he had taken pictures of a trip he was on. When he was looking back at them he realized he maybe wasn’t so in the moment when he had taken them. He knew in the moment to take the pictures, but he wasn’t thinking about why or what was speaking to him in that moment. He maybe wasn’t appreciating how great the moment was until he was at home on his couch looking back at the moment.
The funny thing about important moments in our life is we are not always aware of how much of an impact a certain thing will have on our future. You could get a job that you think is going to be a defining moment in your life, but a few weeks later you quit the job because it didn’t really match your values and that becomes a tiny blip in your timeline or a memory you would only think about if you are working on your resumé. Then there are moments like bumping into a stranger in a grocery store that you said sorry to but move about your day and two years later they find you on social media and send you a friend request and bam, six months later you are engaged.
You don’t know what moments will be lasts and what moments will be important in your life. You just don’t know. There are some moments that you can be sure will be important and they are, but that is not always true.
A moment, well really a time I keep circling back to in my brain is the last flight (actually second to last because the very last flight was a dinky plane and it lasted for all of 40 minutes but the one right before it is what I am talking about wow what a run-on sentence this is haha say this sentence out loud in one breath I bet you can’t) I was on. I was flying home from a trip to New York City that my dad, sister-in-law, and I all got to chaperone. We took a bunch of high school students to go see Broadway shows and New York City and it was seriously one of the most fun trips I have ever been on.
The flight we were on was from LaGuardia to Minneapolis. The three of us were in the second to last row of the airplane and no one was sitting behind us. The plane somehow felt roomy which is not a thing you would normally say when you are talking about planes. We were all watching our own movies on the tv screens in front of us (I was watching Call Me By Your Name which is an amazing film) and eating our snacks. At some point during the flight I had to get up to pee. When I came out of the bathroom Katrina and my dad were in the back of the plane now too.
Once we all relieved our bladders, we were standing in the back room of the plane without a flight attendant in sight. There was a bag of treats just sitting out (we maybe snuck a few but I choose to plead the fifth), and we had room to move around and stretch our legs. I am not positive how long we spent in this back room but I know that it was a fun time. I have never felt more relaxed and stretched out on a flight in my life. In that moment I knew something special was happening but I didn’t know just how special it was.
We got home right as the pandemic was happening. If our trip would’ve been a few days later we could’ve gotten stuck in New York with a bunch of high schoolers. If it was a few weeks later, we never would’ve gotten to go. For all I know that could be the last trip I fly on where a mask isn’t required. I didn’t know how much life was going to change when those tires hit the asphalt, but man did it change.
That’s why I find it important to try to be as present as possible in every situation I am in. When you are on trips make sure to take pictures and take in the scents, sounds, tastes, and feelings you get from being in a new environment. When you are walking around your town look for things you have never noticed before. When you meet people really focus on getting to know them and not just rushing through a conversation to be able to speak what you want to say. Listen and learn.
Observe. Be patient. Appreciate the beauty around you.
You never get to repeat a moment, so make sure you are being in the moment.
Until next time,