For our 36th wedding anniversary, Tim made me the art piece that you see in the picture. It is a Dr. Seuss quote that says, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” These words are very meaningful to me right now.
A very smart and talented friend of mine recently wrote about how she wished she had realized at the time of the last show we did at Homewood Theatre, that it would indeed be her last show for quite awhile. She wished she had savored the moments that become ordinary to us and yet in retrospect are actually extraordinary.
I had, in fact, finished up that show already thinking about the next show I was planning to direct. Although it was months away, I was excited to start planning and casting before I was officially through with the project at hand. With more opportunities to direct in the coming season, I wanted to do an even better job, putting to use all that I had learned from the process I was finishing up.
My friend’s words really hit me. I do try to live in the moment and enjoy where I am right now. But I am also a planner and a worrier so I can often get ahead of myself.
Being unsure about the future, not knowing if or when we will get back into a theatre makes me realize that I should have enjoyed the moment more. I should have been more aware of each moment of grace I was given in the process with such phenomenal people.
In the sermon today, our minister talked about how we usually don’t see those moments of grace, those “God” moments, as they occur. We sometimes can go back and see how God moved in our lives, how things worked together. We rarely stop in the middle of an event and question how this is all going to work out and where God might be in the process. We get through things the best we can and then later take the time to look back and sort it out.
Hindsight is 20/20 they say. We can look back and see where we went wrong, where we should have gone a different direction, where we were led to go in the right direction. In the moment, we aren’t as wise as we are after the fact.
Taking the time to notice things as they happen is one of the skills I hope I work on during this time of isolation. I try to be aware of the world around me, to be grateful for the people in my life and enjoy life as it comes, to be in the moment and feel all of the feelings. I know that I don’t do as good of a job as I should at being present.
Yesterday I received a sweet package in the mail from my new daughter in law. It was a book, a magazine, a foot treatment, a sticker and card. The card said that this was a “quarantine happy” meant to bring a smile. It did.
I immediately decided to make a little “happy” package of my own for a friend I have missed and drive over to put it in her mailbox, kind of a pay it forward thing. After depositing the items in her mailbox, I headed back to my car. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in an upstairs window. There was my friend trying to open the second story window while waving wildly for me to stop.
I stepped around the car and stood at the edge of her yard as she came through the front door, calling out her greetings. She stayed near the door and I stayed near the street, 20 feet away and we had a short conversation as the wind swirled around us. We laughed, cried, and caught up with each other before I went back to my car and she headed to her mailbox to get the prize I had left.
In the past, that would have seemed a sad and pitiful get together- a few short moments of chatting across the lawn with no hug from my dear friend. At this particular time I saw it as a wonderful exchange with someone I miss and I was filled with joy as I drove home, thinking back over our brief, yet meaningful conversation.
When faced with the prospect of a long time apart from the people and things I enjoy, I realize that I still have a long way to go. I take so much for granted. As an introvert, I get worn thin when I have to be out among people too much. I am ready for my next project even before I am done with the current one and I don’t settle completely into the moments that will later become important memories.
I often think of the last moments that I didn’t realize were last moments. The last time I saw my mom alive, the last time I walked through the church with my friend that I would never see again. You just never know when you are ignoring a moment that you wish you could have back.
I hope that I get the chance to direct another show one day- just one more time. That I can savor each moment fully as it happens. I hope that I am fortunate enough to work with people that challenge me to learn and be better just one more time. I hope that I can summon the courage to sing more and travel more and play more.
I hope that I remember to take each moment and really live it, so the memories will be all the more meaningful later on when I have the time to relive them.
I hope to get one more opportunity to surround myself with all of the creativity and joy I have so easily ignored around me and wrap myself in the comfort of old friends I too often take for granted.