It is in the unchecked moments of the day that life passes us by.(Yes, I am indeed very wise.)
In the fraction of time between sips of water, tea or coffee, or unmonitored breaths,in the momentary silences of the night where the soul finds some temporary peace and the mind doesn’t wander, where the silence is welcomed and the streets are bare, we live our lives.
All my life the “next steps” were clear. Granted, the path to the next step was always blurry but knowing where to go was always clear. There was a goal, a destination, and in consequence, a reward. School, bachelors, masters, job. Check. Check. Check. Check.
In COVID19, I found myself living and perhaps, more importantly, recognizing the mundane, trivial, and unchecked moments of my life. I don’t know if this realization was a consequence of all the meditation advertising I see (seriously, it’s everywhere! Even Netflix!) or the fact that everyday is lived as a continuation of the previous. The same day for the past nine months. Same house, same street, same cashier at the grocery. In between the routine of washing dishes and tidying up my table after work, yesterday, a stark realization dawned on me. Life is simply a culmination of unchecked moments. Of simple pleasures and daily routines. Of times when we are doing nothing, where we realize our place in our life and this big, big world. Moments where no work, no pleasure, no purpose screams from within. Unchecked moments, where we realize we are but a consequence of events largely out of our control.
No matter where you are in life, where you get in life, or who you become, you cannot escape the unchecked moments. Yes, you can avoid the dishes, ignore your emotions, get cleaners for the table, cope with the moments, or even buy affection. But you cannot outsource your moments, you cannot deny your mundane moments. You cannot escape your unchecked moments.
Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Shah Rukh Khan, Mary (my favourite cashier at Sobeys), Pablo Picasso, all lived and live through unchecked moments in their life. They all, like us all, are simply drops in an ocean or grains of sand in a desert. From afar, we can see the oceans and the desert, but go for a swim or a safari and all you see is water and sand. To those people who know them, these celebrities (and Mary) are larger than life. To those who don’t, well, they are just another face in the eight billion faces.
Life is then, a fine balance of getting inspired by the ocean, yet learning to enjoy the swim. Life is about being comfortable being mundane. About accepting (and if possible, loving) the silences, the dishes, the snow on the wind shield just when you need to get groceries. Of getting comfortable being unknown, normal, and even bored. Of recognizing and thriving in the unchecked moments.
Life is Now and Now and Now and you guessed it, Now. History, the past, the future, is now. If that realization isn’t a miracle in itself, then I don’t know what is.