Awake Moments

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

So I didn’t post a blog last week because I was computer-less; my laptop having been the unfortunate recipient of a cup full of water.  And, unlike humans, laptops don’t like water.

It was a strange two days, working entirely via phone and not being able to access files… and remembering with every passing hour more and more items on my laptop that I may have lost forever because of my lazy backing-up skills.

It’s at the shop at the moment, my laptop. I’m working off a loaner and waiting to hear the fate of my water-logged companion.

How many blogs have I written about how we get lulled into a kind of arrogant complacency? Settling into the comfort of what we have, while not appreciating/protecting/caring enough for that thing? And then SNAP! that comfort is snatched away.    When we’re left with the “ah, dang.”

(I think too many)

There is so much to write about right now regarding an intentional lack of care and concern. There is a pervasive “I really don’t care, do you?” message that is creeping much farther and deeper than simply a message on the back of a jacket.   It’s breathtaking… and not in the good kind of way. And I’m still honestly not sure how to put words to all of that.

But there is also a recurring and ongoing unintentional lack of care and concern that we all are guilty of in our day to day lives.  A forgetting.   A lack of attention.  A dull unawareness. 

And it drives me crazy that I can’t just learn this lesson and remember it forever; rather, I have to keep learning it over and over and over again.

The kids and I went to see the band Imagine Dragons in concert on Friday night, at a local outdoor concert venue in my hometown. It was a sold out crowd—about 35,000 people—and it was a slightly rainy/windy evening. The concert itself was nothing short of extraordinary. Truly, one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.  If you even a little bit like their music, get to one of their concerts.  Go.  Go now.  

But more than that,  the evening itself was magical. It was one of those perfect moments in time when you are actually aware how perfect it is in the moment it is happening. There is one particular image that has been replaying in my head. We were on a blanket, on a hillside. Dylan, my 7-year-old, was sitting in between my legs and we were barefoot, both of our feet tangled up together. Marlowe, my 10-year-old, was laying down next to me, staring up at the beautiful dusk sky while listening.  All of our hands were connected in some way and we were kind of swaying with the music. And I remember thinking—I don’t know if they will remember this.  I don’t know if they will remember the details of this moment, this night.  But I believe in my heart that the feeling of this moment, this night, will stick.  Will last with them forever, even if it’s in some sort of cloudy distant untouchable way. But I will remember the moment itself forever. Because in that moment there was only YES. Yes to the music, yes to the confetti and the inspirational words of Dan Reynolds in between songs, yes to the bouncing balls in the crowd that looked like massive other-worldly bubbles, yes to the slightly rainy and beautiful evening, yes to the crowd, yes to each other. Every single thing else melted away.  

I wish I had more moments like that—where I showed up for the moment, and just loved the heck out of it.

I don’t have the smart words.  But I have the continued and growing conviction that showing up awake, and showing up with love… well, if we all started there we’d be someplace.  Someplace good.

What moment can you show up to and grab with love today?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.