Notice The Moments
I am one of those fortunate people who is not moving through life feeling unloved.
But I have had times when I felt unnoticed. I think it can be very difficult to be invisible, and yet so many of us are. Older people, average people, single people – we who don’t make waves.
And yet it is because of our very nature of being the shy ones, the acquiescent ones – that as much as we need acknowledgment, we cannot be the person who shouts “Notice ME!”
Perhaps one way to cope with our invisibility is to reverse our perspective.
To not fret about being unnoticed. But to be the one who notices.
We sometimes need to pay attention to the small moments when we are recognized. And to realize that in those moments, we are accepted. We are loved.
There have been some small – and some significant – moments in my life where I could have missed the sign. Missed noticing that I was being noticed. Being loved.
Small Moments like:
– When I visit my mother, and she has a bag of potato chips on the table, because she knows I love them.
– When my husband drops me off at the restaurant, and then parks the car and has to run through the rain to join me.
– When I am in a meeting, and someone turns to me and asks, “What do you think?”
– When my best friend remembers some little thing we did together twenty years ago that I had forgotten.
– When a stranger holds the door for me.
– When I finally get the Zumba step I have been screwing up for weeks, and the instructor gives me that little nod.
– When a friend emails me an article or joke, and it is exactly the kind of thing that interests me or makes me laugh.
– When someone waiting in line says – “Go ahead, you were here first.”
– When my hairdresser gives me an extra long shampoo, massaging my temples in the spot that makes me go limp with pleasure.
– When the waitress puts my plate down in front of me without asking who ordered the lemon sole.
– When my niece says a certain song reminds her of me, and she is spot on.
– When my dog gets off the couch to follow me to the bathroom. Every time.
All those tiny moments remind me that I am noticed. I am not invisible.
And then there are the BIG moments – the moments when I knew with all certainty that I was Noticed – that I Mattered – that I was Loved:
– When I collapsed at home one night years ago. It was a gall bladder attack but we didn’t know it at the time. My husband (and I too) thought I was having a heart attack. I was lying on the floor unable to move or speak. But I could hear. I heard my husband on the phone with 911. I heard in his voice the mix of authority and urgency – and panic. In exactly the right proportion.
– When I was leaving my family’s Christmas Eve party a few years ago, and my nephew – then 12 – told me that I couldn’t leave yet. He had something he needed to share with me. And I waited in the living room wearing my coat and gloves, while he stood beside me, leaning on me a bit, and read me a poem from a book he had received.
– And six years ago – when I was visiting my dying father at the nursing home. He had only one day left in his long and happy life. He could no longer speak, and as I sat by his side, he smiled at me, and silently put his hand to his heart.