Small Moments, Big Magic

Time is a funny thing. Looking back on my blog post from one ago (A Home For Life ), I’m astounded by how much has changed, but also by how much has stayed the same.

For one, I’ve usually been caught up in my Big Picture. I hop from one grand gesture, one milestone accomplishment, one larger than life task to the next with tunnel vision. And in my hustle to tick off “27 months of service,” I recently asked myself, have I lost sight of the small things?

You know, THOSE Small Things.

The moments or gestures that often go unnoticed and unappreciated because they are undervalued in our culture that is focused on always celebrating the BIG accomplishments.

We’ve all had them. I know I’m not alone.

They happen when we are chugging along the track with complete tunnel vision and we disregard the kind stranger who has helped pave the pothole in our way.

The times when we’re completely focused on achieving the Big Thing that we hope will give us that feeling of contentment, happiness, and peace, and we are unable see the trees through the forest.

When you’re completely engulfed in finishing graduate school Peace Corps a time in your life and don’t recognize the significance or impact of a small gesture or kind word…

Yeah, THOSE moments.

Obviously life is happening all around us and in all the hubbub of waiting for the Big Things, our most significant opportunities–the Small Things– may not be something we consciously pick up on all the time.

But I want to change that in myself. Because, I know, this experience  will be defined by the build up of these Small Moments to create Big Magic. So here are some of my Small Moments that I want to share so that I’m reminded to slow down and embrace them wholeheartedly.

I want to appreciate the little things in my life that nurture and give me pleasure. At the end of the day, it’s all about the positively focused gratitude because while the days may go by slowly, my time in Sāmoa is quickly nearing its’ end (ah! 9 months left!?)

My Small Moments:

  • The crack in my host father’s voice as he said “Thank you” when I gifted my family printed out family pictures (they stared at them for 30+ minutes).
  • My host mom’s smile when I  gave her a handmade card for her birthday.
  • The reactions my students’ make when I tell them “I Love You!”
  • The sadness I felt remembering my step-father’s passing away anniversary last month.
  • My colleagues’ simultaneous confusion and gratitude at receiving my Valentines.
  • Hearing “Fa, Lina!” (“Bye, Lina!”) 8 times on average whenever I leave anywhere.
  • How my mood instantly brightens and productivity increases when the sun comes out (I will not miss you, Cyclone Season).
  • The stomach drop feeling when I see my host nieces and nephews preform outlandish and gutsy daredevil moves that lead to one of two follow-up moments:
  • 1. The instantaneous relief and pride I see in their eyes when they stand up and smile.
  • 2. The heart bursting moments when tears are rolling down their faces and they come to me for comfort.
  • My extreme appreciation when someone said “Thank you” after asking for some advice.
  • My smile when someone acknowledges and complements the time and effort I put into something.

What are some of your Small Moments?

This is Ben’s reaction when I told him “I love you, Ben!”

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

— Vincent van Gogh

My group survived Mid-Service Training!

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