30 Mar Capture The Moment

enjoy the little things in life

A couple of weeks ago, I had coffee with a friend to catch up on all things work and life.  Not long into our conversation, he shared a story about coaching his son’s basketball team. He had come to realize that their last game was actually the last time that he will ever coach his son. Unfortunately, he didn’t truly realize it until a day or two after the game.   “I wish I could go back and really capture the moment,” he said.

This really got me thinking. How many things have passed by where I wish I could go back and truly capture the moment? I came to realize that there had been many moments that I have lived for “the last time.” There was the last time when I worked for the Brewers, Bucks, University of Utah and Marquette University. There was the last time I lived in my hometown of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There are in fact, many things that I have done for the last time. Like my buddy, I don’t remember capturing the special moments before I left, because like most people, I was already on to the forthcoming moments in my mind.

It hit me that this week will be the last time that my current sales team will be together. They had become a well-oiled machine that worked together seamlessly, and had shared much success together. Two of the sales reps received growth opportunities… one from within the organization, and one from the outside. I went on to think about the first day on the job for both of them. One rep had said that he wanted to lead the company in sales, and that is exactly what he did. The other sales rep said that he wanted to become a General Manager, and his dream came true as well. We’ll celebrate our final week together with lunch, a team workout and by sharing our best memories.

After I had thought about the sales team, I started to reflect upon my personal life.  Again, I asked myself the question, “How many things have passed me by, where I wish I could go back and truly capture the moment?” Ellie, my seven-year-old, no longer reaches for my hand when we cross the street for school drop-off. When did my young daughter stop doing that? Thankfully, my four-year-old daughter Mia still reaches for my hand. How long will that sweetly innocent gesture continue? Neither of them will initiate giving me a kiss anymore, before they run off to play with their friends on the playground. When did the kisses stop? I honestly don’t remember, but I know that I miss those simple moments. As a 2nd grader, Ellie attends zoo classes by herself, while Mia, a kindergartner, still prefers going with a grown-up. I don’t remember capturing my final time in zoo class with Ellie. Will I remember to capture the last moment with Mia? In 2nd grade, it is rare when parent volunteers are needed at school.  I’m sad to say that I don’t remember really living in the last moment of volunteering in Ellie’s class.   In kindergarten, parents are requested fairly often… and I am determined to live those moments with Mia, knowing that some day they will come to an end. I so want to capture the moment before she grows up enough that she has no need for a parent helper in her class. Mia is likely my last child.  It’s time to realize that all of the little things while they are growing up are actually going to be the big things, looking back. Now is the time to start waking up to live the moments!

Unfortunately, we don’t always know it will be the last time for something, until it’s too late.  However, if you’re cognizant of this fact, and you pay attention, there is greater likelihood that you can enjoy firsts and lasts.  I am going to pay proper attention to the things that have had their first times, so that I can capture the moment of their “last time.”

For instance, there was a first day of working with the new sales representatives that I just hired. There was a first “family snuggle.” There was a first time roller skating together with my family. There was a first time creating art projects at Discovery World together with my daughters. There was a first time when Ellie performed in a theater show. There was as first time when Mia participated in a gymnastics showcase. There was even a first family selfie.  For all of those things, there will also be a last time. I’ll be able to catch the last time only when I pay close attention and remain present in the moment.

Is it possible to cherish it all in the whirlwind that we live in? It may be unrealistic to think that we can capture everything, but we absolutely can all increase our awareness. I’ll be forever thankful for my friend who woke me up by saying, “I wish that I could go back and capture the moment.”

This summer there will be many first and last moments … a first time my Mom turns 60, a last time Mia will need training wheels, a last time taking a long fishing trip with my Grandpa and many more. I’ll make the time for these magical moments because I don’t know for sure when it may be the last time.

ACTION: Write down some first and last moments that happened in your lifetime that you may have missed out on or didn’t completely enjoy. Then, write down some first and last moments that will be coming up in the next few months. Finally, hold on to this list for reference and make it a point to be there to capture the moments.

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