How An Order of Clams Made Me Realize How Fickle Life Can Be

by on November 14, 2011

in bruce's thoughts

Thoughts on Brusimm logo - Opinion on News and Current EventsThis is a recant of a moment this hit me the other day.  Whether you take this as a piece of self help or a moment of inspiration motivation, well, that’s up to you.  But if it says something to at least one person, then the intent here is done!

There I was, enjoying a quick lunch of ‘Clams and Chips‘ in a small, local seafood place.  I don’t get a chance to eat seafood that much so when I do, I fully appreciate and enjoy my time.  I mostly savor every bite.  I settled into a corner table where I could see out the windows and watch the rain, while reading the final book of my Chaos Walking trilogy on my Kindle.

I took my time, reading my book, eating my lunch.  As I was coming to the close of my lunch, I had just a few clams left.  Two good sized and one tiny piece.  I was so looking forward to these last two pieces.  I had a lot of motivation to enjoying the meal  and even more so in those last few pieces.  Hence, I reached out, picked them up, and as I carried these two savory pieces of clam to their fates, I dropped them.  I was holding them in such a way that they were pressed against each other between my fingers.  They were very round and they rolled out of my grasp.  Those two pieces that I had built up such an anticipation for, were gone.  Rolling across the floor, and no, the public restaurant floor does not qualify for that 10-second rule.

Now all I had was that one last tiny piece of clam.  Not quite the savory end to the lunch that I had so focused on.  And then it hit me, right there, while I was looking at those two clams on the floor and the tiny piece of clam on my plate.

I didn’t spend as much time appreciating the pieces of clam I had prior to those last two escapees.  I did eat slowly, enjoying my rare seafood lunch, but I had put a higher value on those last pieces than any of the pieces prior to these.

That’s when I realized that life, like my lunch, has a funny way of changing on you.  You cruise through life, doing your routine every day.  But you don’t appreciate the mundane.  But when mundane is taken away from you, suddenly those mundane things seem to hold a greater value than we previously assigned them.

Case In Point:

Dealing with Knee SurgeryA while back, I had knee surgery and was bed-ridden (well, couch-ridden) for a few weeks.  The first day that I could actually walk (on crutches) was a joyous sense of relief.  Two weeks later, the very first time I could get behind the steering wheel of my truck was a glorious sense of freedom.  I finally had my full sense of freedom back.  I never felt that way about driving before that, and to this day, I’ve again become accustom to driving.  But I have a subtle memory of that appreciation.

And recently, we’ve had a powerful, life-altering event come along that made so many other mundane things now seem so special.  I suddenly have the motivation to try and appreciate the smaller things in life.

So when the clams rolled away for their freedom from their certain fate of digestion, I realized that sometimes, we get so caught up in our routines that we just don’t pay that much attention to the small moments.  Things happen that take away our routines and suddenly those routines seem so precious when you can’t partake in them.

As Tony Robbins would say, “You are what you focus on.

So keep your eyes peeled, take a look at what’s going on around you and ask yourself, “What’s good about this right now?”   Or try to understand that maybe, just maybe, you’re doing something others can’t possibly do.  It’s just a moment, true.  But there’s a subtle value in these moments that we miss.  And we miss the appreciation for these moments.

We tend to miss a lot.

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