Isn’t it funny how some moments seem to last forever and others go by in the blink of an eye? Moments that take forever usually involve waiting for something. Anticipating something good or something bad doesn’t seem to matter. The moments spent waiting seem interminable. Knowing our birth mom was in labour and waiting for the phone call that our baby was born. Waiting to walk down the aisle to marry my best friend and the love of my life. Waiting for the doctor to confirm the test results. Waiting for my daughter to come back home safe and sound.
Moments that end too soon almost always involve something precious. Christmas morning. Your baby’s first smile or their first steps. That moment when you have to leave your child at school on their first day of kindergarten. Waiting by the deathbed of your loved one, knowing that last breath will come far too soon. Here and gone. Just that fast.
Those are the fleeting moments that we pay attention to. We soak up every bit of them. We want to preserve them forever. But what about those moments that go by without acknowledgement? What do we miss when we are busy living life? When we catch a moment in the periphery, how do we grab it and savour it? Good questions. Please, share your answer with the class.
Things we most commonly hear about time:
Take all the time you need. This is taking too much time. Time is running out. Take time to smell the roses.
The last two weeks have gone by in a blur. I was busy busy busy. (Because three busys are more impressive than one, and may just garner more admiration for how busy I must be and how much more I must accomplish than the average human.)
I was lead costume designer for a kids musical that involved 9 superheroes whose special abilities were virtues. Kindness, gentleness, honesty, self control and the like. Because the average superhero look isn’t good enough for me, I decided that the whole show needed a steampunk flair. Cool, right?! As usual my concepts turn out to be bigger than originally planned. It’s all good – the show looked amazing. The kids loved their costumes and found it easier to stay in character. The audience was blown away. But making it all come together? Aye ca rumba!
Multiple trips to the fabric wholesaler that has the coolest trims ever. But of course it is WAY in the NE, and I live WAY in the SE. Trips to the fabric store. Trips to the hardware store. Trips to church for production meetings and taking actors measurements. Actors coming to me for measurements and fittings. Early mornings and late nights. The last four days spent at church for rehearsals, final detailing on costumes, and performances. Exhaustion. Why why why do I keep doing this?
Because of the moments.
That shy kid who came alive when he put on his costume and felt like the coolest toughest superhero ever. That sweet little girl that threw herself into my arms and gave me a big bear hug, thanking me for making her costume that she loves so much she wants to keep it forever. The “too cool” kid who was blown away by the chains trimming his cape and couldn’t stop saying “Wow! I never want to take this off!” The girl who started the week grumpy and depressed, and finished the week happy and showing kindness to her little sister and brother. The kid who said “I learned a lot about myself this week. Honesty and kindness are really important”.
Those are the moments when I need to press pause. Take the time to soak it in. Then press play and get back to the task at hand.
I learned a lot about myself this week too. I learned that chaos has great potential for awesome. I learned that those kids were as motivated to strive for excellence as I was. I learned that I can press pause and live in the moment. Kind of like I’m doing right now. I just need to be more consistently aware of the moments that are whizzing by.
Time to get back on task. The roses aren’t going to weed themselves. I promise to stop and smell them.