Last week, I had a moment.
Fortunately, for those of you (read: Mom) who automatically assumed that “having a moment” equates to a stress-induced mental breakdown, allow me to assure you that this particular moment was not fueled by a never-ending workload.
Sometimes, it’s okay to have a moment.
On Thursday, 70 members of my sorority gathered at our chapter house for a 90-minute workshop. Despite each member’s willing participation, the weekday’s evening hour lent a certain preference to thoughts of homework-related obligations– a pestering reminder that there are some things more important than recruitment.
As I walked through the fourth floor hallway on a mission to relay information upstairs, I was momentarily distracted by a warm glow of light peeking past the ominous rain clouds outside and into the window ahead. I moved closer to get a better look and found myself staring face-to-face with not one, but two rainbows right outside the window.
And yes, I screamed.
After a frantic, unsuccessful wrestling match with the smudged window, I began corralling the entire chapter outside– a seemingly harmless endeavor that probably sounded more like a panicked evacuation than a friendly urge to see a rainbow.
It’s a wonder that the neighbors didn’t summon the fire department.
All at once, 70 twenty-somethings scrambled down the staircase, smiling and shrieking as they burst through the front doors and into the golden evening light. For five minutes, 70 college students stared in awe at the colorful arcs that stretched across the Athens sky; they laughed and snapped selfies, and for a fleeting moment, they forgot all about their responsibilities as they frolicked across the yard, completely absorbed in the moment.
And it. Was. Cool.
As the colors faded and everyone filed back inside, the rapturous chatter settled into lingering grins across every member’s face, masking their once-distracted enthusiasm with genuine interest in the task at hand.
“Mal, check this out,” one of my friends laughed afterwards as she thrust her phone in my face, revealing a stealthily-snapped video of me spastically running across the lawn while I tried to capture the perfect angle of that perfect moment.
Yikes, I cringed. So that’s what I look like whenever I see a sunset… or rainbow… or dog.
While my frenzied documentation attempts were the focal point of the video, I found myself watching it over and over as I noticed others in the background doing the same. In fact, of the seventy-some women who frantically evacuated the Delta Zeta house to catch a glimpse of the sky that evening, nearly everyone captured the moment from a different perspective:
Rainbow, rainbow, people looking at the rainbow, rainbow, rainbow.
In a matter of 24 hours, each of those photos disappeared from Snapchat stories just as quickly as they had been posted. One by one, the rainbows turned into photos of coffee cups, textbooks and filtered selfies as the new day’s moments took hold. Yet, several days later, I still catch mentions of that fleeting, five-minute pause in the week: “Wasn’t that rainbow so great?”
Of the 86,400 moments in each day, there’s an excellent chance that 86,000 go unnoticed amid the vicious cycle of repetitive motions and hectic routines. The go, go, go mentality takes hold, the days pass by exhaustingly and suddenly the little moments each day that would otherwise capture our interest are going, going, gone.
When day or week seems ordinary, remind yourself that it’s okay to have a moment.
It’s okay to laugh a little too hard at corny jokes, and it’s okay become overly-enthused about your food arriving at a restaurant. It’s okay to stay up a little too late swapping stories about nonsensical memories; it’s okay to belt slightly off-key renditions of your favorite songs. Most importantly, it’s okay to temporarily abandon your responsibilities the moment a rainbow interrupts an otherwise gray sky.
It’s okay to have a moment; it’s GOOD to have a moment.
And this week, I challenge you to have a moment, too.