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Living each day moment by moment

My husband, Terry, often talks about moments. No two are alike and once past they cannot be retrieved. The point he makes is that we often miss opportunities when something is scheduled too early and we don’t choose to get up, don’t open the door because the house is a mess, allow our comfort zone to create boundaries, remain in a rut, or approach something with dread.

The concept of non-retrievable moments is similar to water that rushes through a riverbed, for moment by moment it is not the same water.

Heraclitus, an ancient philosopher, contemplated this concept stating: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

How many moments do we allow to rush by each hour, each day, each week, each month, each year? Most think there are moments to savor but others are tolerated. People piece together scrapbooks of their vacation to hold on to time past yet long for days to pass more swiftly during a traditional work week. That’s why we refer to Wednesday as “hump day,” which leads to the downward slide into the weekend, and we exclaim, “Thank God it’s Friday.” The Urban Dictionary states the latter phrase is used to express the joy one feels in knowing the workweek has ended and there are two days off to enjoy.

Do we only find joy in undisciplined days, those days without time constraints? With this outlook so many moments slip past like grains of sand plummeting to the bottom of an hourglass. Isn’t every moment worth being engaged? I think of those times people stop for conversation, but are not fully engrossed in what you have to say for their mind is on something …

We talk about taking more time for ice cream and moments arise where this is an opportunity. But then there are times we must scrub the bathtub, track receipts for taxes, get the laundry done or study for a test. Yet in common chores we can find satisfaction in a job well done. In the routine we can step outside the mundane by doing something different, such as finding a new recipe when nightly dinners become boring. Studying has many benefits although it requires discipline. It can expand our world, increase our understanding and uncover new talents and interests.

I hope you are a person who greets the day with anticipation, looking forward to the experiences, interactions, choices and opportunities that arise moment by moment. Not rushing through, not avoiding, not dreading, not bemoaning, not simply tolerating what the moments of the day might hold but embracing them.

Several years ago Ann Voskamp wrote a book titled “One Thousand Gifts, Finding Joy in What Really Matters.” She began a list of one thousand things for which she was thankful and wrote this story of counting, which she describes as finding God in the moments, finding the grace of God everywhere.

She writes: “Moments. This is all we have. Moments. Microscopic, fleeting moments.”

Strung together, these moments form our life. How we approach, receive and view them has to do with perspective. If we are people who are always looking forward to the weekend, to vacation, to retirement how can we change our perspective and make the most of every moment?

On her list of gifts Voskamp wrote: “New habits replacing old.”

She quotes Erasmus, an ancient scholar, “A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.” She found her list of gratitude a way to appreciate all the moments of her day to hammer out the wrong perspective with the right perspective. May you too find the right nails to drive out whatever keeps you from the value of each moment.

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