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Do you know the moments?

I just finished reading A Well-tempered Heart by Jan Philipp Sendker. It’s the sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, and I highly recommend both. They  have both stuck with me, and I’ve highlighted quotes throughout.  You know when you’re reading a book and a sentence just makes you stop? That happened frequently in both books. But this one, “Is it true that we can count the moments in which something really happens in our lives? Do we notice it right away, or only in hindsight?” not only stopped me, it paralyzed me for a good ten minutes. Do we recognize the moments in which something happens in our lives? I’m not talking about the obvious…giving birth, getting married, the loss of a loved one, but maybe those more subtle but yet still life-altering moments?

I remember clearly the day I went on the March of Dimes website looking for information on what was then WalkAmerica. There was a tiny link at the bottom of the page that said, “Share Your Story.” I didn’t know it then, but clicking on that link changed my life, and saved me from my grief and pain in so many ways. From that one little click on a link, I have some of the most amazing people in my life. I’ve been able to travel to places I probably would not have gone on my own. I’ve gained the courage to advocate. I’ve had the opportunity to lobby on behalf of moms and babies not only in my state’s capitol, but also in our nation’s capitol.

Nineteen years ago, two of my girlfriends and I decided to drive to a city over an hour away to go to a famous country bar (which no longer exists as and where it was back then) for a girls’ night out. Random moment, right? I met Spouse that night. If we’d gone to the other city and the other bar we’d been contemplating, who knows where I’d be right now? Five moves, four jobs, three kids, and almost 17 years of marriage later, I sit here with my Herd.

When the Princess was three, I put her in a Saturday morning ballet/tap/tumbling class because I needed something girlie going on in our male-dominated house. Ten years later, we have some of our best friends through our dance family, she will be going to Irvine this summer for an intensive with some renowned dancers from around the world, she’s gained confidence and self-esteem, and we’ve seen some of the most beautiful ballets.

Ten years ago, I was hunting for another way to exercise besides the gym and treadmill. My brother suggested I give running a try. I did. It sucked, but a couple of days later, I tried again, and then again, and then again. Now running is a regular part of my week. I’ve run six half marathons, a 15K, and a 5K. I’ve gained courage. I’ve done something I never thought I’d ever do. I consider racing “fun.” I’m stronger, inside and out.

Some moments are recognized in the moment. We know they are big.  We know they will change us. Other moments are more subtle, but never-the-less, just as life-changing. Think about it. Think about the seemingly little moments that have changed you. Appreciate those moments as you do the big moments. Stop every once in awhile and see if you can notice the moments in which something happens in our lives.

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