“A big life is made up of small moments.” I borrowed this tagline from a friend of mine. As a photographer, she is an expert at capturing the small moments that happen between people on film. She also is a breast cancer survivor, having battled breast cancer twice before the age of 40. She is not only a survivor, but a warrior in my opinion, and her mantra of capturing the small moments is one I embrace.
We all have busy, chaotic, hectic lives. Sometimes it feels like a blur and the weeks melt together to form an entire month that has gone by in a blink. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
As a mom, I feel like that a lot. I am so busy sometimes that I feel like I might be missing it – the small moments that make up this big life.
Recently, we had some home movies put on DVD. Of course, for the first two kids I kept up with this process as they grew up. With my third, I had a stockpile from birth to age seven that needed to be transferred. Each time my girls watched home movies, there were none of my youngest daughter and she would ask, “Where am I?” So I got them done and we had a movie night in her honor. My kids and husband sat on the couch and hooted and hollered at all the funny times we’ve shared over the years. As I sat next to them, I realized that I didn’t remember a lot of the small moments that we were watching. I was there (obviously), but I could not recall many of the details that were unfolding right in front of my eyes. I looked happy in the movies, so that was a relief in a way, but I was sad that I couldn’t track a lot of the moments I had shared with my children. At the time, with three little girls six and under, I felt like I was on a train going 100 miles an hour all the time. My life was filled with small, precious moments but I hadn’t truly appreciated them.
What I’ve since learned is that slowing down doesn’t mean that I’m pursuing less. I’ve gotten better at prioritizing my time and energy and setting boundaries. I’m more aware of what and who is draining to me and what people and activities are good resources for me. With the train going slower now, I am better able to enjoy the small moments with my family.
And, the funny thing about small moments is that sometimes they become treasured traditions. The simplest acts done over and over can make a lasting impact on a family. And that’s the magic really; the way even the smallest events form the connection between us.
Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for moms and author of “Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity.” Visit her Mommy Magic Fan Page on Facebook and her website at www.Mommy-Magic.com