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Holding tightly to precious moments

As I'm painting my current series on moments of transition, and all of the potential that is bound up in those fleeting units of time, I am deeply aware of the speed of our lives.

"Just yesterday I brought home my first baby and now we are planning high schools!" Where did that time go!?

We speak of this - I say it, you say it - frequently and often flippantly, without acknowledging the grieving behind it. The small comfort of collective experience hides the little (or sometimes fierce) punch in the guts that you get about those breaths that will never return. The firsts, the milestones passed, that precious sensation of those tiny hands reaching out to touch your arm, your face, that we will never have with our own children again. We can replay the photos, the videos and the memories but we can't bring the living of the magic back again.

Many things make us more sensitive to that little punch.

For parents like me, who share our children's time with an ex-partner, the limited time we have is keenly felt. I am grateful for a very workable relationship with my girls' dad (you know, 99% of the time) but the weeks in between the ones that I see them can, among other things, be long and quiet and lonely.

I also seem to have recently reached an age where friends are falling.

Terminal illnesses have hit a few over the last two years and the grieving is hard. Grieving while knowing that each moment is too precious to waste on such a thief. Grieving for what will be lost and for everything that should have been. And while it is because of the person, it is mostly for the time. The precious time.

So be mindful of your habits.

Be mindful of the ones you have created for yourself and the ones that you allow your children to develop. Cultivate habits that notice the joys of deep breaths in small moments, of sunsets, poetry, radiance and abundance. Create a routine that stretches out the number of times you listen and look, taste and feel a little longer.

These are things I aspire to for myself.

Some days are better than others. Some days we enjoy each other more. Some days we bake cupcakes and take them up to the lookout at sunset and share them with strangers, and the world is good.

Hold tightly onto those moments.

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