As envelopes of time pass we somehow compact groups of moments into what are often referred to as experiences.
The pity about remembering life as a set of whole experiences is that the outcomes are often known and the memories are filed away as good, bad or indifferent void of those delicious little moments that sit within the greater story.
So let’s dump the popular notion of ‘living in the moment’ for a moment and consider ‘remembering in moments’.
Our moments have been recorded and frozen in time for centuries by artists, photographers, videographers and now by ourselves using our simple yet effective phones. Social media offers an ever-evolving landscape of sharing moments instantly to global audiences and with it the conundrum of oversharing, sharing too soon, latent attention seeking and augmented perception of moments.
Despite our ability to capture and share any given moment, the only thing to stop the marring of that moment when it becomes a whole experience, when the outcome is known, is a conscious decision to remember that moment for the moment that it was and to immerse in the feelings that place in time invoked.
Let me offer the example that enabled me to understand the concept of remembering moments over experiences, and why I think it’s so important…
Although I did promise to the contrary, I was planning on driving people bonkers with my incessant pictures of our new family addition, an alpaca cria (that’s a baby alpaca – which you should also know is born through a process of criation – how AMAZING is that).
It was my neighbour who saw the cria first and following an early morning text to share the news it didn’t take me long to run through the house throwing on day clothes and yelling at the kids to get out of bed.
We arrived at the birthing spot and instantly fell in love. None of us had ever seen a baby cria before and mum stood so proudly next to her with the rest of the herd.
My heart thumped with pride as I witnessed the little one lift her neck and as her mum nuzzled its head still coated in afterbirth. It was surely a miracle.
We recorded the moments with pictures, video and shared them with friends across the globe.
Everything felt good in the world.
Until it wasn’t.
As afternoon arrived we knew something wasn’t quite right and despite all of our best efforts baby died before the sun had set.
While we all experienced a deep sadness and disappointment it was nothing compared to the palpable grief of mum. Her long neck lay flat along the ground as she cuddled close to her cria.
Life went from fairy floss to gruel in half a day.
Despite my eternal sense of optimism, I cannot deny that life does have a tendency to do that.
And that I realised, is why it’s SO important to remember those precious individual moments.
As the moments of initial shock followed by those first moments of grief passed I realised that I’d splattered proud pics of baby all over my social media. Suddenly I felt like a fool. Everyone knows how precious and fragile life is at the best of times, and life for faux farmers like myself is an even finer balance. I chastised myself for sharing so soon and not just waiting until everything was clear, maybe when baby was 1 or 7 or so.
Before I commenced a full self-analysis and change management plan (I really did feel stupid at this point) I carefully thought my next steps through and realised I had choices. I could (a) just delete all evidence of the morning and quietly move forward or, I could (b) post an update and leave everything else as was realising that my feed would still be sharing the happy pics or the irresistible little being and there was a good chance I’d feel sad at every like and happy face.
I chose B
And not because it was a good ‘social media strategy’. I chose B because the joy we had felt in that morning was so real – and for goodness sake the cuteness of the gorgeous little creature was worth celebrating.
I chose to honour that moment.
And I realised with great clarity that a known outcome – the realisation of the full experience really can ruin those most beautiful of moments. So I decided to celebrate the little moments instead.
So many situations in life don’t end well. Let’s face it, we all die in the end. That doesn’t mean that we should cease the celebration of the beautiful, the funny, the loving moments.
I realised through this experience that the outcome is only a small part of the story and while these outcomes can certainly influence our behaviour to some degree, there is no reason to cease the celebration of the joyful, loving and happy moments that happened along the way.
There are several other stories in this one including the one that questions me ever being tough enough to survive the rollercoaster emotions of living on land – but again I guess that story will unfold in moments.
Big love to you little baby xx
And thanks to everyone for both your smiles and your commiserations along the way. Make sure you celebrate your moments too.