You are probably familiar with the iconic National Geographic photo of a grizzly bear just about to close his jaw on a salmon that is literally jumping into his mouth. That photo, taken by Joel Sartore in 1999, speaks to us because it perfectly captures a singular moment of opportunity. An opportunistic moment is something a whole lot of folks are hoping will come their way. They are waiting for their moment.
Do you think Joel, or the bear for that matter, waited for that moment? How many fish do you suppose the bear missed before he caught that one? How many fish did he catch before or after in a much less choregraphed (perhaps even awkward) manner? Do you suppose that was Joel’s only shot of the day or do you imagine he took lots and lots of shots before luck and skill came together and he captured that one?
Here’s the thing, it’s easy to miss a million little moments of opportunity when you are waiting for the perfect big opportunity. This pattern of waiting is especially easy to fall into when you are grieving or are overwhelmed with care giving. The sad thing is that just when a person would benefit the most from little shining moments, those moments pass by unnoticed.
So, open your eyes and look. When your caregiving duties have you up in the night just take a moment to look at the night sky. When you are out shopping at the food store or picking up something at the pharmacy, speak to the checkout person. See if you can make them smile. Nothing warms the heart like making another person smile.
Grief and loss are difficult. Caregiving can feel thankless. Still, every single day comes with many little moments that can lighten the load. They are there. However, you have to be open and make the effort to see the opportunity.