In an effort to try to post at least once a week though it isn’t always a success, I thought I would share a few experiences from my week. Small moments maybe, but life is usually made of those small moments, right?
Picking up my chubby little niece to give her a kiss and make her laugh this past Sunday.
She’s nearly one and is the youngest of my sister’s seven kids. She’s toddling around and getting into things now as well as asserting her will and voice. She’s quite fair, blonde, and blue-eyed, and if her experience is anything like mine was growing up with a lot of brothers, she’s going to have quite a lot of spunk by the time she reaches her teenage years.
Stopping in to see a professor about some trip details.
I’m not taking a class with this prof this particular semester, but we are traveling together this summer on a study abroad group excursion. I stopped by her office with a fellow grad student friend to ask some questions, and this prof absolutely cheered the both of us up and made us laugh. She’s one of my absolute favorite professors. She just has a special way of teaching and making you feel confident as a student as well as showing you how to improve. She has had quite an impact on my academic life. One of her best qualities as a teacher is that she makes her students work hard, but she can also make them laugh pretty hard too. My friend and I stayed in her office for over an hour just chatting and laughing.
Experience # 3:
Getting a hug from my dear Brazilian friend.
If you’ve ever been around Brazilians, you find out quite quickly that they’re the “golden retriever type” of personality of the world. They LOVE people. My friend Juliana is no different, she loves to give hugs and be incredibly sweet and assuring. She has been here at the university working hard for many years to learn English and then get her Master’s in French. She successfully defended her thesis this past Monday, and I felt honored to be able to be there to cheer her on. She is very gifted with encouraging her fellow classmates. I love how she’ll be talking to us in her sweet calm Brazilian accented English and then stop and ask “How does one say in English (fill in French word)?” Her hug this week was just a highlight. I’m going to miss her terribly when she returns to Brazil in the next couple of months.
Laughing with little bruva.
This is an affectionate reference to my dear younger brother Jesse. Let’s just say we’re one of those rarities among siblings these days in that we’re actually really close and best friends. He’s also very tall and very protective, so I always feel safe around him. He and I met up last night to eat supper together after both of us have had a stressful week. We were sitting at Pizza Hut speaking some form of a tired French-English mix while dipping bread-sticks in marinara and just laughed about our week and our professors. He knows how to make me laugh as well as what buttons to press to get me riled up, but thankfully, he decided to turn over my giggle-box instead.
Experience # 5:
Sitting with Grandpa Dalton.
No, he’s not actually my grandfather, but I call him that anyway. He’s a dear old gentlemen in his 80s who lives across the courtyard from me at my apartment complex. He’s taken up the wonderful habit of bringing me flowers on Fridays since someone gives them to him and he doesn’t really want them. I was walking to my apartment door yesterday carrying my load consisting of a heavy backpack and a few other items when I saw him walking with his walker in the courtyard. I set my stuff down inside and went to give him a hug. He and I sat on the bench outside in the spring breeze and just chatted for about an hour. He told me about his life and how he thought I was so pretty. He even told me that if he was 30 again he’d try to marry me. It was just a darling little conversation and so relaxing after my stressful day at school.
Yes, they’re just a few little moments that could be found in anyone’s day. But, they’re good reminders to me. I too often get so caught up in school, work, stress, meeting deadlines, and trying to get things done that I forget about what is most important.
I heard someone say on the radio the other day that when you come to the end of your life in your last days, your utmost desire will not be to see that diploma, that new car, or that list of accomplishments. You will be wanting to see the people who mean the most to you. You will want to think on moments that made you smile and that meant something, and you will want to be at peace with how you lived your life.
Thus, as I come to the close of a very stressful and exhausting week, I have to realize that this stress with school, my friends, is not where the pith of life is found. What I’m working on now is important, but I have to have a life outside of just sitting with my textbooks always in front of me. That life is found in soaking in little moments God sends much like these I’m reflecting upon and realizing what life is really about.