Be there in the moment

Only a few days left until the big graduation party. Sandwiched between games in the district tournament, madcap cleaning and preparing at our home, and next week’s graduation (itself sandwiched between games at the state baseball tournament) this is a time of absentminded bewilderment / laser-like focus on the tasks that need to be completed. After the final out of the spring prep season is made and all of this madness is behind us I may sleep for a week.

In the meantime I watched the video below after it went viral on social media. It contains a good message not unfamiliar to those of us who have been saying similar things for some time now.  It contains a nice delivery, doesn’t rant, and simply states the sad fact that in a time when we are the most connected we are also the most isolated.

I especially like the turn it takes at the 2:27 mark as it chronicles the lives of a couple who met and the lives they lived because they weren’t staring at a smartphone screen. The first time I saw it I was moved to tears. But then again, the first seventeen minutes or so of the Pixar movie Up did as well. (See Carl & Ellie’s story here.) It’s the best four minutes of film with no dialogue that comes to mind.

Give people your love, don’t give them your like.

I also have been enjoying a blog I recently discovered named The Nice Thing About Strangers. The blog’s author, Paige, does a really nice job of writing succinct observations about her surroundings and every day life. Today’s entry is but one example. It seems she travels the world doing this, but at one point lived in Nebraska and taught a college course not far from where I live. Ok, so it’s two hours away but trust me when I say that in Nebraska terms that’s practically a hop, skip and a jump away.

Reading Paige’s blog and watching that video brought to mind a few things I’ve written in the past. And while I am loathe to reblog myself (and don’t really have a clue on how to do so without cutting and pasting the entire thing) I’m instead going to paste the first few paragraphs below and a link to the piece.

I’ll write more when both my schedule and my mind clear. Until such time I am here.

In these moments.

screen capture from "Look Up"

screen capture from “Look Up”


(originally posted in April 2009)

Three moments from fifteen minutes of today’s lunch hour:

The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships are in town the next three days. Thus I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the gymnasts from the University of Utah at Subway. They are adorable. And probably more than capable of kicking my ass if I patronized them by calling them adorable in their presence.

While making my turkey breast sandwich Bobby and I consoled each other from either side of the lunch counter about the awful start to our beloved Red Sox’s season. But the season is still young…very young.

Sandwich in hand and waiting to cross the street to my building a short blonde woman stands next to me talking to her small son in a language I did not recognize. She did so the entire length of the crosswalk and once we reached the other side I asked her what language she was speaking. She said, in a delightful English accent, that it was Swedish as she was originally from that country. They had lived in London for years before her job brought them to Lincoln six months ago. There was no time to go into any further detail than that because the little guy (who looked almost exactly like the little boy in “Jerry Maguire”) wanted in on the conversation. I crouched down to his eye-level, welcomed him to town, and asked him what he thought of the move. He replied that he loved it here. We exchanged four or five low-fives in front of my building before we parted. I would have enjoyed talking more to them. You don’t get that opportunity every day.

Or do we? How many moments each day do we miss?

Go here to read the rest.


One thought on “Be there in the moment

  1. Thanks for the kindness, Jeff. I’m so pleased that you have found the blog and are enjoying it. Nebraska was quite good to me, and was a wonderful place to find the goodness that surrounds us–if we know where to look. Having to write about positive things helps me to see the positive things. Even last summer when I had about 5 frustrating experiences in one trip with a pack of Italian tourists, I forced myself to find the good. 🙂 It helps to have cause to stay on the watch.
    Thanks again–
    P.S. A reblog is a great way to revisit our past ideas and to share our older posts with newer readers. I liked reading this reflection, even 4 years later.


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