Carpe Momentum

Kimmy Schmidt has taught me many lessons. But the most important one might be – you can do anything for 10 seconds. And when that 10 seconds ends, you can do it again. At least for 10 more seconds.

When I run (or do my weird slow jog / speed walk combo) in the 90 degree 90 percent humidity Georgia summer, I often feel like I might die of profuse perspiration. And when my head tells me I can’t take another step. I count to 10. Because I can do anything for 10 seconds.

By the time I reach nine and think I might die. I scream out 10 (in my head of course – I’m not some strange girl running on the side of the road counting to 10 over and over again – OUT LOUD). And then I count again. Because I can do anything for 10 seconds.

Ten seconds. Incredibly quick and excruciatingly long. They pass in a blink. And seem to last for days. But these 10 seconds, just like the 10 before, will pass.

Groups of 10 seconds make up 10 minutes. And 10 minutes leads to 10 hours. And you know what? Those 10 hours – they eventually will make up 10 days. And before you know it 10 months have gone by.

When seconds lead to months – moments lead to memories. And you have to seize those moments before they’re gone.

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So what does it mean to seize the moment. Right here. Right now. What does it take to clasp it. Clutch it. Seize it.

It takes notice. Recognizing right now. Who you are. Who you’re with. Recognizing the good. The bad. And the oh so ugly.

It takes hope. Knowing what’s going right in your life. And having hope for the things that could be going better.

It takes strength. Recognizing the joy and the pain. The beats between wholeness and heartbreak. Fighting through difficulty. If only for 10 seconds at a time.

It takes a choice. You have to say yes. Be all in. To right now. To this day. To seize the moment, you have to want to take hold of it.

Because these seconds to minutes to months – they make up your life. And you have to live it. You can seize these moments. Even if it’s only 10 seconds at a time.

-A

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And Now You Choose

Sometimes. You arrive at a place. And it is definitely new – you haven’t been there before. But when you look around everything seems oddly familiar.

And you think. Yeah. This very much resembles square one.

Square one. The one you like to skip over in hopscotch. Because who wants to land there? Not me.

A little girl (not me) once told me (and by once I mean two days ago) that I was too big to jump from square one to two to three to four. I needed to jump from the starting line all the way to square five. And I thought. That’d be nice. To skip the first four squares. Go straight to square five, where the path is set and I can see the end.

But life doesn’t work like that. So here I am. Not on the same square one where I began. On a new square one. A new starting place.

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I couldn’t exactly tell you how I arrived here. I started on a different square one. And moved on to a different square two. I imagined a path for me to take. Step by step I made my way down that hopscotch course. Jumping over obstacles to get to the end. Like the ‘lava’ (a mixture of clumps of grass and weeds) my sweet little friend placed in my path when we hoped around on the newly colored concrete.

And I was so focused on getting to the end. The final square in my path. Where I could be who I wanted to be. And do what I wanted to do. I didn’t realize I’m not the only one who controls the course I take. And sometimes that course plops you right down on a new square one. When you really want to keep hoping down the path you are already on.

Even though it’s frustrating. And I don’t always understand why I can’t have the same square three as her or square ten as him. I know my squares and their specific sequence were picked purposefully for me.

So now I have a choice. I may not have the final say in where my square two ends up. But I get to choose to leave square one and go to that unknown square two. Which is exciting. And scary. And feels a lot like dreaming.

I can see all the places I can go with square two, and all the ways a square three can form from those square twos. I can see the pathways I want to take. The ones I’d love to journey down. The chalk-drawn pathways to my dreams.

So today I’m working on advancing over to square two. I’m daring to start over. Daring to dream. And even if I unexpectedly get dropped down on a new square one. I’ll dare again.

-A

(P.S. This image was inspired by Dallas Clayton! Go check out his instagram page @dallasclayton – it’s full of doodles and super fun things)

When life chips your crown.

This story starts with an overly excited six-year-old princess, who took it upon herself to make sure everyone in her kingdom’s vicinity got to experience the joy of receiving a box of cookies (for a small fee obviously).

It was a cold winter day, when she and her sincere older sister – and her sister’s top-notch twin brother – began to travel around the village. They went from homestead to homestead asking the inhabitants if they would enjoy the pleasure of purchasing a box… or two… or ten.. of delectable sweet round little baked goods. The villagers beamed with pride at the prospect, and almost the entire village contributed to the cookie fund.

finland-318777_1920As the sun slipped lower into the sky and the three children started skipping their way home a light snow began to fall upon them. The first snowfall of the season. In their excitement – they decided to stop at one more villagers brick hut. The little princess began to climb the brick stairs of the brick hut, but she tripped and tumbled – chipping one of her grand pearly whites – her front right tooth.

She cried out in pain as one of the brick hut inhabitants came fourth. The villager seeing tears streaming down the princesses’ face rushed inside to get her a tissue. When she came back holding a tissue and ice covered in a cloth she handed them to the princess and sent the princess, her sister, and her sisters twin brother home (without buying even a single box of cookies – come on lady).

Fast forward eleven years. The princess – with a small cap on her tooth – went to highly respected member of the kingdom – a noble dentist. He looked at the tooth, with a cap on one side, and decided a princess needed more than a cap – she needed a crown. So he made a gleaming white crown and placed it – not on her head – but on her front right tooth.

Fast forward another five and a half years. The princess – who is actually me – a normal person and former girl scout – was eating plantain chips in a corner of her queen bed that was covered in a fort of pillows and clothes. As I sat in my bed with my purple bag of plantain chips and Netflix streaming on my tablet something happened. And in that moment I knew something was wrong.

The beautiful crown on my precious pearly white didn’t feel quite right (opps that rhymed). I knew instantly I needed to look in the mirror, but I also knew I didn’t want to see what had happened – so, like any normal former girl scout, I went ahead and finished the bag of plantain chips.

After pouring the last crumbling remnants into my mouth, I took a deep breath, climbed out if my pillow fortress, and looked in the mirror. I was right – my little crown was chipped.

So now the princess (me again) begins a new journey to have a new crown made to fit her tooth like the glass slipper that was tailored specifically for Cinderella’s foot.

And despite the stress of finding a new noble dentist, having a new crown foraged, and trying to not to look like a stereotypical hobo – I have learned a enchanting lesson. When life chips your tooth – and everything else seems to chip apart as well, you end up with a good story – that will make people laugh and bring them together. And bringing people together makes my heart happy.

-A