Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiny Indulgences

"I can never bring you to realize the importance of sleeves, the suggestiveness of thumbnails, or the great issues that may hang from a boot-lace."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I bought a 12-pack of Mountain Dew at the grocery store today. Exciting, isn't it? Just stick with me on this one...I normally don't like to drink pop anymore (or soda, whatever you want to call it), but I felt inclined while strolling through the aisles of Giant Eagle. I picked it up about halfway through my aisle-filled adventure, so I had the other half of my shopping spree to ponder my impulsive choice. I hadn't bought a 12-pack of the Dew since college. So why now?

A large part of my evolving philosophy throughout my life has been to notice the smaller happenings, the minute developments throughout any given day; to appreciate the moments that can in no way be replicated by anybody else in any other situation via your perspective. When I graduated high school, and even college, I was not ecstatic. I didn't jump for joy. I stayed on my even keel of free-spiritedness and rolled with it. To prove my small point, here's what I specifically remember from my graduation:
  • The drinking fountain was out of water
  • Not sitting next to Barnes because the usher messed up the count
  • The smell of the girl sitting next to me (she smelled good)
  • The first bad joke of a great keynote speech
  • A soon-to-be co-worker I saw right after I walked
  • Not standing on the right spot when my picture was taken
  • Not moving my tassle over because I didn't want to...it's the small victories that count :)
For those of you who are married (or divorced), what are the things you remember most about your wedding? For those of you with kids, what do you remember most about them growing up? For those of you that have served in the military on the front lines, what do you remember most about a battle?

Sure, you'll have a recollection of the major events in your life, but chances are the major share of them will be lost in the wheel of time as your brain keeps turning and your body keeps moving forward. You'll remember the look your soon-to-be life partner gave you before you kissed on the altar. You'll remember the fear you felt when your kid rode his bike without training wheels for the first time. For the soldiers, you'll remember the first cigarette you smoked after your first gunfight. It's not the grand affairs that you'll vividly recall, but rather the small occurrences that happen within them.

Every day at work, one of my co-workers comes into my office and performs two back kicks. Weird? Maybe. Awesome? Quite. It's a small inside joke between the two of us, and it never gets old. Because one day one of us will quit, get fired or switch departments to where our offices won't be close enough anymore. But the back kicks, for as long as they're there...now that's a memory that will stick with me.

The real memories we make, the important, lifelong ones, belong to the unexpected, to the roll of the dice.

My 12-pack of Mountain Dew is something I remember from my college years. It was a small comfort, a tiny indulgence, and still is. It brings me to a place, much like a song can, that I can be content, if only for a moment, or a few minutes, or an hour.

What's your tiny indulgence? Your distant memory upon which you can reflect and smile.

2 comments:

Fiona said...

Jeff I really liked this post!! Oh. . . and what do I remember from my childhood?? Running you over with a shopping cart!! ha ha!! By the way, I'm STILL not sorry about it!! hee hee!! ~Jess :)

residentialreflections said...
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