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Our defining moments

Saira Valley

Posted on January 28 2019

Our defining moments

It was a Sunday of rest for me, so of course that means I had to binge watch something, and I ended up watching a show called The Eighties on Netflix. It was like watching a memoir of my youth. So many historical moments that were lost in a sea of memories came back fresh as new.

When we are young the days drag on and it seems like forever to get from one weekend to the next, one play date to the next, one birthday to the next! Entire eternities stretch between our milestones, and despite what seems like forever, we blink and 3 decades have raced by.

How does it happen? That on one hand life can seem a snails pace, and the next fast enough to give you whiplash. It makes no sense. And most of life is just a blur, most moments don't stand out, they just blend together, hour after hour, day after day. 

But, there are moments of life that stand out, defining moments that shine bright. There are the obvious ones, marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, death of a parent, getting into college and losing your virginity. These are milestones that most remember as rights of passage through life. I am talking about moments that are unique to each of us. Experiences that stand out to us but to someone else might seem totally stupid or meaningless. It is these unique, incredibly personal events that shape us as individuals and give our lives even more meaning. 

aha concert
I have a bunch of these memories that stand out for me, but one in particular was a trip my sister and I took to Europe last year to see A-ha in concert. I will never forget the way I felt when I heard the first song played live, the voice of my childhood just feet away from me. A soundtrack to decades of my life suddenly just, right there, in person. 

I will never forget the smell of the air in Vienna, or the strange food and grocery stores in the middle of shopping malls. I will never forget the incredible Alps, and the train conductor who thought my sister and I were the worst passengers EVER and who yelled at us constantly to BE QUIET!!! I will never forget the sight of Zurich, so majestic and perfect it seemed impossible that it was real. 

I have had several low lows since that trip, and when things have seemed so bleak aha black and whiteand dark, I remember that trip. I listen to an A-ha song from their concert album and those moments come back as if I was there again. It is a sanctuary of happiness, and more than a memory, it's a visceral connection to an experience. 

I have spent most of my life striving for things, but when I really stop and think about what has made me who I am, or what has brought me the most joy, the most peace and the most hope, it isn't things. Its experiences. It is the stories I have created myself to furnish my life that live on in perpetuity. I am quite certain that when I die, I will remember that trip. I will remember walking the streets of Europe with my sister, I will remember hearing Morten Harket's voice and tearing up that the 30 year wait was worth it! 

Life is so incredibly hard for most of us, and we spend a lot of it between crisis and bills. A constant battle between survival, and living. If there is one wish for this year, for me and my family, it is that we can be champions of personal experience. That we can pursue moments and experiences that will shape us and help us be more fulfilled, more happy and more at peace. 

Try to say YES more to going out with friends, date night with your husband, trips or time off. Try to say YES to experiencing your life, rather than being a bystander to it. This life is for you. Pick one day and make it your yes day, and see where the world takes you!

I would LOVE to hear some of your stand out memories, or maybe something you want to do and hopefully after reading this blog, you will! Let's hear them!!

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