Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Do you have time today to "pause between the blinks"?

In two days Marlowe starts second grade and Dylan starts Pre-K. How is this even possible? Where did the summer go? Where did the past seven years go?  While on the one hand I can’t even remember a life without them, on the other hand there is NO.WAY that Dylan just said “I’m not talking to you, Mommy.”… because isn’t he just a baby?  And surely that was not Marlowe who led a group of Dylan’s friends in circle time at her very own “summer camp,”… because isn’t she still a toddler?

They say time is speeding up… whatever that means, and whoever “they” are—but by George I think they are on to something. I sometimes feel like I am blinking my life away—blink! There goes another year. Blink! There goes another milestone. Blink! There goes another moment. Blink!

Which also just reminds me again and for the millionth time that we just really can’t afford an “I’ll do that when…” mindset in this life. I’ll do that when I get time. I’ll do that when I make more money. I’ll do that once I finish… I’ll do that once my partner… Blink! Blink! Blink! And before you know it, whether the ‘whens’ ever came to pass or not, the moment of opportunity has passed. Time ran out. How many moments do we let pass us by because we were too scared/uncertain/tired/insecure/overwhelmed/nonchalant/busy to act on them?

It’s the “Enjoy Every Moment” classic advice bestowed upon the younger generation by the one that came before. Those of us with young children who have ever felt guilty or frustrated by the sweet older lady at the checkout counter who encourages us to “enjoy every moment!” with our children might do well to think of that advice slightly differently. Maybe the sweet older lady doesn’t really mean we should actually enjoy every moment—because that is not possible with anything—maybe instead what she is really trying to tell us is to pay attention to every moment. To mark time by pausing in between the blinks and allowing the wow of right now to envelop us. To soak it in. To notice.

Right now I notice the sounds of cicadas buzzing in their summer symphony outside the window. I notice the hum of my computer and the creaking sounds of pipes from the shower upstairs. I see my old cat Norman struggling to get up so he can see if we’ve refreshed his food bowl. I see the Black Eyed Susans from our yard that I put in a pitcher on our table and find they are starting to wilt. I’m aware of my two beautiful children sleeping upstairs, exhausted after a fun hard day of play yesterday. I’m thinking about our schedule for this, their second-to-last-day of summer. I am grateful.


How can you pause between the Blinks today?


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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.