Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Mantra: Choose Now

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Leap and the net will appear - John Burroughs

Leap - Society 6
I talk a lot about not having regrets in life, or at least about trying to reframe them as lessons. For the most part I live in this way. However, there is one moment in history I would change, if given the chance.

Years ago I was on a Euro trip and one of the stops was Amsterdam. Upon arrival the city seemed pretty normal. After waking up from a much needed jet-lag nap the city was bustling with people, helicopters, and the color orange everywhere you turned. Thousands upon thousands of people had filled the city by mid-day to celebrate the World Cup. Shouts and laughter filled the streets, and a concert was being set up right around the corner. It was beautiful madness; unlike anything I've ever seen. I had my camera near me ready to capture every moment.

I can still see it so clearly in my mind.

The streets were packed. The city looked gray against the people decked out in their bright orange attire. Down one particular street was a group of teenagers cheering and throwing their arms around each other as they made their way down the path. I had never seen so much happiness and joy emanate from a group like this before. They all moved as one, all high-fiving and hugging in unison, with smiles wider than the street they were walking on.

I stood there, watching this beautiful moment in time, debating whether or not I should take a picture of them. On one hand, it felt invasive. Like I would be intruding on them, stealing away a piece of their celebration with the click of my camera. On the other, in my gut, I knew I would never live to see anything like this again. It felt like I was in Time magazine. Like I was staring at the cover picture, living in the story.

I waited and waited and waited until I'd waited too long. Until the group ended up walking right past me without one single picture being taken.

It's a silly regret, I know. But on the scale of things that are important to me, who I am, and what makes me tick, it rates highly. To this day, I regret not having that moment captured for my own memories. To be able to look back and recall so clearly that beautiful moment of sheer bliss.

This is something I can't change. I can't go back in time. I can't recreate this particular piece of my history.

This is where the lesson comes in to play.

Debating on having a surgery or getting married or moving to a new state - those are big decisions that require a lot of time and research. Taking a picture, buying that antique dish at the French market, trying the Special of the Day at a place you'll never return to - those are the things I'm talking about. The small yet still important pieces of life that come only once and can never return again. The moments that say, "It's now or never. Which will you choose?"

Choose now.

Some pictures of the event that I didn't take, but that these lovely people did.

Pierre Crom

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