July 2022


As I write this month’s missive, our family beach vacation in Greece is coming to an end.

We’ve traveled here every year, adding new family members to the trip as our children find partners and begin their own families. Each gathering has its own cadence; its own highlights, its own challenges and its own memories.

At lunch today, our granddaughter Etta grabbed a piece of steamed broccoli from her high-chair tray and squeezed it with all of her might, taking inordinate pleasure in its soft malleability and the fact that glorious green vegetable water oozed from her clenched grip down her arm and into a small, sticky pool at the base of her high chair. We all laughed with her.

Will this be the moment we remember?

Later that day, we sat together, looking out over the white-capped Aegean. Waves peaked, and as the blustery wind blew the waves back into the ocean, water particles created a rainbow mist that disappeared as quickly as it formed. I’ve never seen a rainbow created quite this way.

Will this be the moment we remember?

As we’ve been together, I’ve been thinking a lot about the passage of time and the formation of memories.

Why is it that one day can feel as long as a week but the week has flown by as though it was just a day? Is the difference the presence of joy? The existence of connection?

Why do years contain the same number of days but seem to have different lengths? For me, the past few years felt interminable while I was in them, and yet they are such a distant memory that I have lost my ability to track where we are now in the continuum of time.

It’s almost like we’ve lost a year or two despite the fact that each day seemed to move so slowly.

I’ve been noticing that events which took place long ago often feel closer than yesterday, especially when those events were important to me. Yet small things that happened yesterday have already fled my memory unless someone reminds me of them.

Maybe I’m getting old and am just forgetting.

Maybe I am becoming sentimental.

Maybe I’m clinging to the past because, when not on vacation, the present feels so daunting.

* * *

Whatever the truth, I think about these questions because I find myself searching for context. Context for a long-term life framework. Context as an immediate guidepost and grounding rod.

Until recently, time had been a measure that helped me track where I had been and where I was going in relation to other experiences. Now it’s just a mind fuck.

Following a traditional framework of “time” might now be the wrong measure.

It’s the moments when we are really honed in and present for the squished broccoli and the reflective wave particles that seem to stretch and become lasting memories.

There is something important that the elusive past few years have made me realize:

Life may not evolve as we expected, and “time” may actually be better measured by being in the present than by dwelling on the past or longing for the future.

With that lens of living in the “now” and taking delicious pleasure in the small things, my personal longing for times past or those yet to come has been replaced with the feeling that there is not enough time in the day for the very moments we are in.

I’m making time for now.

Not just “vacation now,” but the now of living in and treasuring the present. After all, there is not enough time on earth for broccoli and rainbows. God knows what else I’ve missed while looking at my calendar.

* * *

Do you focus on being present? So many of us could benefit from your experience and insight!

Share it Small:  Practice the art of noticing so that it embeds with you. Pay attention to the way a fallen leaf looks like a heart. Create a memory of the way the wind becomes visible when it crosses the surface of the water. See how much better you can visualize someone after having taken the time to truly look into their eyes and notice what those eyes look like in detail. There are never-ending chances to truly see and a higher likelihood that when you truly see, you will better remember.

Share it Big:  If you are savoring something as you experience it, let those around you know. The fact that you can describe the glow that comes from appreciating the things that are happening in the moment will likely inspire those around you to do the same.

Share it with Me: We all learn from each other. If you have had a revelation, a breakthrough, an insight, or a triumph, we can learn from you so please tell me about it here! I’m collecting stories of these cascades of good for ongoing community building and to track The Parlay Effect in action. I would love nothing better than to hear how you lifted, were lifted, or observed something in others that made you feel good and recognize your own power.