A Startling Lesson from a One-Year Old

Over this past weekend, I got a chance to spend quality time with family.

We celebrated my niece’s first birthday.

And I’m mostly sure she knew what day it was.

Balloons were everywhere. Toys were everywhere. And when it was all said and done, cake was everywhere.

We had a great time — as always.

As I look back, it’s crazy to think how fast one year can fly by. Its almost like you blink and there goes a year.

I was just holding her in my arms the day my mom and sister brought her home from the hospital. I was one of those people looking out the window to see if they’d pulled up in the driveway yet — thinking, “What on earth is taking them so long?”

That seems like it was yesterday.

Zoe (my one-year-old niece)

Now she’s walking on her own, doing all she can to be independent. Don’t even think about helping her. She will deny all attempts.

It’s always amazing seeing a human being go from not being able to do a simple task to almost doing it better than you.

It may not seem like a big deal to other people. The tasks are comically simple to do.

But for me, I saw her when she was incapable of doing those things.

And to see how much progress one year can give a person inspires me to seek growth.

A couple of months ago, she had one favorite word — dada. Now, she’s trying to copy almost anything you say, which is sort of creeping me out.

She’s growing so fast, and I can barely keep up.

Watching her was a sight for sore eyes. People around me may not have noticed, but I was having an incredibly difficult week. But seeing her made me forget about all of it.

Every moment matters.

She may not see it right now, but one day she will. There’s a long road ahead of her; this is the start.

This is a time of joy and laughter — a time for her to enjoy being so hilarious and tiny. Because one day she won’t be so tiny anymore and may not be as hilarious as she used to be. Okay, scratch that. She’s pretty darn funny, so I’ll do my best to make sure that doesn’t change.

These are the good times we come to miss later. Better make the most of them now.

She is.

It’s best to be present in the moment. Because that’s really all we have — right now.

Time waits on no one; either you make it count or come to regret that you never did.

And I’m sick of regrets. Sick of looking back on times I didn’t show up or join in.

That’s the consequences of moments missed — the dreadful memory of what could have been.

Even if she doesn’t remember that day, I will. Because I was there — present, taking in all the little things.

I like to think of moments as if they would never happen again, as if someone told me that this would be the last time we would ever get together.

That’s how I started viewing moments nowadays. It’s an opportunity to make something of it — something that’ll last long after you’re gone.

Life gives us no guarantees. But if it was one thing it does guarantee is that we will all leave this world one day, taking nothing with us.

And the scary part about that is we don’t know when that time will be.

We don’t have forever. Letting moments pass right by us. Moments we’ve missed — forever gone, never to return.

Being present isn’t about just showing up. It’s about being a part of the moment. Just saying I was there is not enough.

This life is not forever. And it’s time we start living that way. It’s time we stop delaying opportunities, pushing off things you know you could do now, while you have the chance.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Is it failure we’re afraid of?

True failure is never attempting.

Sitting back thinking through every mediocre “what-if” and never actually doing is failure.

If I never attempted to walk, I would’ve never learned how. It’s not that I am incapable of walking, but because I never put one foot in front of the other.

Never getting over fears will follow a person for the rest of their life. No matter how far you run, it will find you.

Fear of failure is inevitable. But you do it anyway. This is the only way you beat fear.

If I fail, I fail. Then, I’ll try it again — only better. Regardless, I’m making something out of the time I have.

In this life, either we’re growing, or we’re not. You learn, or you don’t.

But there is no in-between.

You can learn from a lot of things. You can gain some great advice from individuals.

But over this past weekend, a one-year-old taught me something I’ll never forget.

Moments are bigger than anything this life has to throw at us.

It’s best we live with that mentality so that running from fear is not an option.

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