Little Moments Are Big Things


Snow capped volcano surrounded by clouds

I’m on an airplane right now, flying from Phoenix to Vancouver. You won’t read this post for a few days, but three hours on a flight by myself is ideal writing time. Today is kind of a big day as it’s the anniversaries of three things that ended up having significant impact on my life.

Thirty years ago today (the day I’m writing this) I met one of my best friends in a class we were taking together in college. We haven’t seen each other in person in about three years and I miss her, we write letters, text, and have connected virtually. We have one of those lifetime, distance-won’t-kill-it friendships and I’m grateful. If somebody had told me that day, when I was 17, that Jen and I would still be friends 30 years later I would have been pretty sceptical.

Twenty-five years ago today I was in a car accident. I was making a left turn on a yellow light that was just turning red, my compact car was broad-sided by a van, driven by a man with no insurance and a suspended license. He sent my car spinning into another van. No bones were broken, but I pulled muscles in my neck and shoulder. My shoulder has never felt the same and for the past couple of years I’ve some tendinitis in it that I suspect is connected to that accident. I couldn’t know, as I turned in that intersection, that in an instant, something would happen that 25 years later would mean there would be days that my shoulder hurt too much to play catch with my daughter (actually, if you’d told me 25-years-ago that I would have a daughter, I would have laughed). A few days later, I came out to Jen and she was great about it, and it was such a freeing moment for me.

Eight years ago today I started working at the university. I was soon worried that I was in over my head, but plodded along, thinking that somebody would inevitably figure out that they’d made a mistake in hiring me.  I was apparently wrong. I’m on this flight right now, returning from a conference filled with people doing similar work as I do and so many of them wanted to pick my brain. One person even invited me to be a guest on his podcast. I wish I could tell that to the person I was eight years ago who sat down at her desk on the first day of her new job, not having a clue where to start.

We really have no idea the ripple that something that happened in a single moment, or a single day, can have on the rest of our lives. Some moments will be hard and so will the ripple, but others will set you on an amazing course. Never discount the importance of the little moments in life. They may prove to be the shifting current that changes the course of your life.

Featured image taken by me. CC-BY license.

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