Stop and Take a Moment

Chris Bell

Someone in all our lives has offered up the advice: “Slow down”. It might have happened once or, if we are lucky, many people have said it. Regardless, the words did not sink in. At least not at first. And even to this day, maybe the words are yet to truly be absorbed and understood. But those words do not mean anything, it is just something people say, right? Wrong. These little words carry more weight with them than most conversations in a day.

“I am just too busy”, “There is no time to waste, how could I slow down?”, we say in response. Because in the moment, these phrases make sense. Things that are right in front of our face are the most important. We may plan slightly in the future or be cognizant of a few days in the past, but we stay busy. After all, being busy has become our natural and most comfortable state.

Busyness is mindlessness

In an earlier post, I said to keep moving, to keep working. The message of this article is not in contradiction to that one, but should be thought of as complementary. Staying still will cause fatigue, muscle atrophy, and many other problems; but, not enjoying the moments we are in can be just as detrimental. Within this world full of stimuli, it is extremely easy to preoccupy ourselves with just about anything. Think about yesterday or the day before, how many tasks or activities flowed into each other? How long did the entire day feel? For me, days do not feel nearly as long as they used to. Moments flow from one to another without even being noticed. It almost feels like a trance, a mindless sea of moments washing over each other.

People like to stay busy, to feel valuable and like they have a place in the world. However, this mentality can lead a person to miss out on those special moments that deserve a bit more attention.

One moment can mean a lifetime

“You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone” is a phrase said a great deal, but not often heard. This concept has recently rang very true for me. Memories that seemed so small and insignificant suddenly have a great deal of meaning. It might have been a 5 minute conversation or a multiple day excursion. Either way, the memories that we have and the moments that we use to define ourselves are happening to us every single day. It is important that they are noticed and appreciated.

In times of sadness, reflection is effortless. It is unfortunate that these feelings are most often surfaced due to despondency, but it can serve as a valuable lesson. A lesson to stop and take a moment to appreciate where we are and who is among us.

Gone but never forgotten

I have lost a friend. Truly, I have a lost a brother. While the same blood did not run through our veins, our experiences and connection made us family. I am lucky to have such fond memories and character defining interactions, but I wish that I had taken more time. More time to understand, to appreciate, and to be in the moment when times were at their best. I believe that we are who we are not only by our own volition, but also the influence and teachings of those around us. Some of those teachers we recognize right away, others are taken for granted.

I wish that I had said how much I valued our time together, how much I have learned and what you really meant to me. I would not be who I am today without you. I regret never telling you in person, but feel blessed that I have as many fond memories as I do.

Dedicated to Christopher Adam Bell