Thinking Out Loud: Cherishing the moments

John T. Catrett III
ONHL Hospice Chaplain

Are you cherishing those moments that bring joy to your heart, smiles to your lips, tears to your eyes, or that warmth that envelops your whole being? When you look fondly, tenderly upon these moments in your mind, do you remember that most of them are a sheer memory because you didn't have a camera ready to capture that heartfelt twinkling in time, nor had you planned to be right there at that place at that exact instance either? All you need to do is to pause during your day and pay attention to what and who is around you. When we are in trying times, it can be challenging to find things that are still bright, noble, loving and promising.

Louis Armstrong sang about those perfect moments in his famous song, "What a Wonderful World.” He sang of simple things, but they were things he thought made the world pleasing. Hopefully, you have heard this song many times. It's a beautiful song to listen to when you are feeling happy or when you are down and out. It is a fantastic reminder of what is still pleasing in this world and worth cherishing.

There are so many distinct moments in our days that often go by overlooked, but they are there nonetheless. The question is, "Are you paying attention to them?" Here are some of my personal favorite moments. See if any of these might be found on your bucket list: spending time with family and friends; doing anything with my child or children; doing nearly anything with my grandchildren; looking at the beautiful blue skies with white puffy clouds; stargazing on a moonlit night; watching and/or listening to thunderstorms in all their glory; seeing a rainbow after a storm; watching butterflies, hummingbirds, birds, or animals big and small; walking or sitting on a bench by a river or lake; listening to the waves rush into the shore or over the rocks; listening to a babbling brook; seeing the first snowflakes fall; roasting marshmallows; enjoying the vibrant colors and fragrances of flowers; looking at trees, hills, mountains, streams, and ponds; watching a sunset or sunrise; listening to a gentle rain; cherishing a hug, kiss, smile, or holding hands; hearing children laugh or squeal with delight; curling up with a exciting book and a cup of tea; watching a good movie or series; looking at photographs; writing and reading; singing at the top of my lungs in the car even though I can't carry a tune; dancing although I have two left feet; going for a walk; sitting on the back porch daydreaming and loving the beauty surrounding me; refreshing lemonade on a hot summer's day; seeing the trees turn various colors in the fall, or beginning to bud in the spring; hearing the fall leaves crunch under my feet; baking; playing board games or doing a puzzle; candles lit throughout the house; Christmas - lights, decorating, carols, and movies; giving and receiving small gestures of kindness; all the holidays and spending them with the ones I love; wearing cozy sweaters or snuggled up in a soft blanket; sitting at a cafe watching the world go by; window shopping; swimming; fresh flowers in the home; and enjoying the quiet solitude before the day begins. Are any of these on your list? What distinct or specific moments are distinctive to you?

There are many sparkling instances of time that are worth cherishing throughout our day, even when we feel our days are stressful and challenging. These flashes of glimmering, encouraging seconds are ever present and waiting for us to acknowledge, to delve into and enjoy over and over again - to lighten our load and brighten our outlook on life! You can choose to take the time, just for today, to appreciate those bright and promising moments to what a wonderful world it is. Start a “Grateful Journal” and write them down so you can revisit them again later!

Breathe in those good, loving moments and exhale them out into the world where there is heartache, pain, and suffering. Did you know that you might be an exceptional moment for someone in his or her day today and not even be aware of it?  Use these techniques with this insight to assist you in seeing and cherishing the small, but perfect moments in your life that happen all of the time so you won’t miss them.

John T. Catrett III is chaplain for ONHL Hospice. He can be reached at (918) 352-3080 or john.catrett3@gmail.com.