Email: info@nvmckenzie.co.za | Twitter: @NVMcKenzie

Perfect Moments

From the age of 24/25 I have kept a Gratitude Journal where I, in daily reflections, write the things that I am thankful for on that day. It calls me to actively look out for the silver lining in every situation, every single day. Even on the roughest of days, I have to (and I have learnt to) find something to be appreciative of. Finding a parking spot easily, making it on time for an appointment, having a good workout; all things to be grateful for. Some days there are many small things to be grateful for. On other days there are few, major things to grateful for. Sometimes I don’t write in my gratitude journal for a week, forcing myself into reflection; looking at the week in appreciation.

I had the opportunity to interview Barbara Lawrence-Strydom, author of  ‘The AfriCAN Journal of the Tembo Jike Leader’ who passionately advocated for appreciating what she calls the “perfect moments in an imperfect life”.

Since the conversation with Barbara, I have started to, in addition, actively look perfect moments in the day. No matter how fleeting, in their perfection.

A perfect moment where I lay in a room with bright, warm sunlight and I was in such peace and serenity that found myself dozing off. I woke up 20 minutes later feeling so refreshed and it was a perfect moment of rest.

A perfect moment of being hugged and assured of love.

A perfect moment of savouring a delicious meal.

The little things, easy to overlook, easy to take for granted; those are the everyday things that tie together to make our lives.

Life comes at us like a head-on collision at times; often leaving us feeling overwhelmed and with our mental, physical and emotional resources stretched. Life is far from perfect in many regards; yet there are things, moments, to be grateful for. The perfect moments in an imperfect life.

Listen to the interview with Barbara Strydom here

Your Story

Am I telling my story? My stories of navigating life; as a woman, as a mother, as a friend, as a partner, as a human being?

The conversation I had with Barbara Strydom left me so deeply moved and so introspective about how I am owning the narrative of my life, how the people in my life know me and experience me through my story where every day, as I live and as I move, sentences and paragraphs are added, enriching my book of life. When I am no longer able to express myself, how will those in my life know me or know of me if my journey is not written or shared? How will my narrative be told if I don’t tell it myself. What will my life be when it is told; a true reflection of who I am or an interpretation of how another has been moved (or unmoved) by my existence.
We live through so many experiences; do we stop to catch up with ourselves and spend time with the reality of that which was in our life and how it shaped who we are? Do we stop to share the stories of our journeys for others to take on theirs? As we chatted more, Barbara shared that she lost her husband and as a widow she teared up about how there are no widow stories for her to read and to learn from. A story from another, helping another to heal and live life in another reality with some reflective guidance. Inasmuch as our stories are the pages of our individual book of life that people can  experience us from, they can also be the illumination another needs for their journey, the much needed validation they get when they view themselves through the lens of doubt and inspiration when they despair.
But our stories are also our retrospective journeys into ourselves, into those perfect moments in an imperfect life that is simultaneously our perfect story.
What is your story? Are you telling it?

Listen to the interview with Barbara Strydom here.