Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today is worth a million dollars

I still use a screen saver.  Its true.  I have my photos scrolling and of course that's the only reason I still use it.  I love my screen saver. Its like a time machine that you trip into accidentally and are instantly whisked away to a more innocent time.

Mostly my shock is over seeing my three children and my families kids (about 18 in total).  How they change marks my years: birth, crawling, walking, new teeth, school, dresses, swords, missing teeth, height, awards ceremonies.  Every image that fades in an out of the 20 inch monitors flashes a new mile marker in my life, and completely out of sequence.  There's  Brianna at she's she's 15.

I always wish I could jump in there and re-live that very moment.  So much so, I find myself saying things like, " I'd give a million dollars to go back to that moment, to kiss that little cheek, to play with them again."  I assume this is only going to continue and likely get worse.  With my first a teenager, my second almost one, and my third acting the part, I long for the innocence of extreme youth. 

I've recently come to some conclusions about this, summed up in one thought. I don't have to jump into my monitor or travel in time, because in 5 years I'll look back on pictures I took today and remark on how I wish I could be there.  Future me would give a million dollars to be where I am right now. 

Therefore it follows that today is worth a million dollars - that every frozen moment of time laughing with the children, today commonplace, will be a treasured jewel in the future.  The trick of course is to find that million dollar moment in the moment that you're living it.   When I was changing diapers, or cleaning the same 3 square feet of counter space five different times in an hour - that's not usually a moment that makes it onto screen savers.  People take photos when they're having fun or something great is going on. They want to capture it to remember it because its special. 

Photos are a signal that something cool is happening, that this moment may be one of those million dollar events. How do we get the value, then, of our life right now rather than yearning for it later?  Can we simply create or find that special moment in this very day? 

There would be a special benefit to doing this.  Allow me to explain. I read once that you only remember about 7 days in your life. I'm not sure I buy that.  I think you're mind stores a good deal more than that.  I'm of the camp that people are really an amalgam of all of that we've read and experienced.  Everyday you're new, even if you can't remember what you had for breakfast yesterday.   The quality of what you've put into your life affects what comes out as your personality.  Thus if we are intentional about creating our everyday moment, they aggregate to create a better you ( more positive, more actualized, more fulfilled.)

Not every moment of our lives is photo worthy.  I read also about folks recording every moment of their lifes for whatever reason.  This is mpractical as it is uninteresting.  Who wants to relive the mundane spaces between photos?

So, photo moments compress time as well as reflect it.  That birthday party 10 years ago is relived by just a few photos.   That toothless grin of your chubby child - compresses all that was sweet about those days, and filters the unpleasantries of modern day life.

All of this is work then.  We must both take the time to have photo-worthy moments as frequently as we can and then we must understand how incredibly valuable they are while we're living it.  I believe that this will build us up to make it through the mundane, while still making a nice mile post for future envy.  It is your activity and attitude that makes the difference.  Your future self is jealous as heck that you're here, with your kids, and everyone is younger and beautiful and healthy.  Absorb that value now. They call this living in the moment, but its important to note that we have to create them before we can live them, and capture them so we can live them again and again. 


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