In a world that seems to have tipped on its axis over the last few years, it has become harder and harder to stop and reflect on how we evaluate the world around us. But something dawned on me when I decided what my next step from the Principalship would be – I realised that in the busy nature of school life, I had missed the moments that matter! In making a big career decision, I thought about how easy it is to justify a lack of curiosity and awe. We set aside those things because we are busy, but I have decided that in losing them, I temporarily lost what mattered most to me and the communities I serve.
Several times recently, people have asked me, “What got you to that moment where you could make the change” and that was closely followed by, “I think you’ve been really brave”. I wanted to respond with comments explaining that I thought the daily work of school staff was always brave and full of change. I was surprised that people thought my decision to enter a new role was extraordinary. I had seen an opportunity to influence beyond my current context and system, and I was surprised that people were fascinated by that. Then, as I headed towards my new adventure, a trusted colleague asked what I was looking for, and I realised that a ‘moment’ was coming!
We talked about those many significant life moments – a change of position; a new arrival to the family; a health scare; grief and loss; global events, and even a change of political leadership. The big moments that burn into our brains and change the way we see the world. Those big moments have clear emotional responses that trip our limbic systems and that we don’t always have stored responses for. Those big moments that everyone has an opinion about and are surrounded by the phrase “Do you remember when…?”
As I took some downtime, I realised that the only things I had noticed in the last five years were those big moments. I realised that in the crazy daily hustle, I needed to recapture my curiosity and sense of awe consciously. I needed to notice the power of the little moments and stop letting the bright flash of the big moments dull the everyday light! So, I consciously chose to sit in the sun and feel the warmth on my skin. To see the dragonflies and butterflies that I hadn’t noticed in my garden for years. To enjoy the conversations over the dinner table with loved ones and not be thinking about anything else. To watch the footy without the laptop in front of me or the need to scroll my social media accounts. I needed to let myself ‘be’ in the moments and celebrate the curiosity that followed.
It’s hard daily to slow down, but I know I am a better person for noticing the ‘moments’. How do you clear the mist and capture your moments? And what moments will you capture and celebrate every single day? I challenge you to find the small moments and pause on them; let them recharge and inspire you. Every moment matters!