Stolen Moments

The other night, I finished a wonderful Barbara Kingsolver novel, Flight Behavior, after about a year of reading it off and on.  On social media, I referred to my gratitude for all of those solon moments that I had with that book throughout the year.  This got me thinking about the phrase, “stolen moments.”  Usually things stolen have a negative connotation–stolen wallet, stolen identity, stole a loaf of bread and spent 17 years as a French prisoner (couldn’t resist a random Les Miserables reference).

Stolen moments, however, has a positive connotation.  They are those moments we squeeze out of the must-do’s and have-to’s of our ordinary, busy lives that help center us and feed our soul, even for a bit.  They are the times in your day or week that you refuse to let yourself feel guilty about because you know you really need them.  As a working mom and grad student, I have probably made room for these moments less than I should.  Who hasn’t at some time in their life?  As a teacher currently on summer break, I am afforded many more of these.  Even though grad classes and the summer “to do” list both linger as constant reminders of the real world, I see summer as a time when I can regain that balance in my life.

So why blog?  I love to write. Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for pleasure is definitely on my stolen moments list.  I want to try to make a little more time for it.  I want to cherish these moments as they come.  Maybe smell a flower or two along the way. Perhaps this blog can be my own way of documenting these special times (and perhaps recording other thoughts and observations along the way).  Who knows if the blog will last?  Who knows if I will have more than one reader? (Hi Mom.)  Stolen moments can’t be so well planned.  All I’ve learned is to just enjoy then when they come.

Some of my stolen moments (in no particular order):

  • Reading even a page or two out of a good book or a collection of poetry
  • Jotting a profound or trivial thought (often they are hard to tell apart) in my writer’s notebook
  • Reading an extra book at bedtime with my son and actually staying awake for it myself
  • Holding my husband’s hand
  • Reading aloud an extra chapter with my students instead of moving on to the next lesson
  • Cuddling with my dog
  • Truly listening to a song like I’m blasting it through headphones back in my dorm room in 1994
  • Dancing to a full song with my son (though this takes extra endurance lately)
  • Pausing to really feel the flutters and movements going on in my pregnant belly
  • Sitting outside and soaking it in (the sun, the air, the sounds, my son’s pure joy)
  • Ice cream–truly savored
  • Really looking at an old family photo–remembering
  • Playing the piano (though this moment is often stolen back–or made new–by my son, who tries to join the fun)
  • Singing my heart out to a favorite song

What’s on your list??

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11 thoughts on “Stolen Moments

  1. Jill Hanssen says:

    Hey Julie! I love your blog and can’t wait to read more. Off the top of my head, i think my stolen moments would be reading a book, going for a bike ride with my girls and praying. That last one shouldn’t be a stolen moment but it always seems to result in my falling asleep.

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  2. zoomzoomjeff@mchsi.com says:

    Great reminder. It’s got me thinking. Probably a stolen moment for me would be watching the sunset from a farm field, where there is total absence of (everyday) sound.

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  3. Christine Agy says:

    I loved seeing you are blogging, friend. I’m doing an entire stolen morning, and I think God is good with it. Time was needed to give you a fitting response for your taking the step into the electronic writing world and for carving the tome for it.
    In my stolen morning, I have watched a Sunday news discussion, get in about two a year (so terribly uninformed) had many furry moments with my boys (took 16 year old Wilson to the vet yesterday for what is a simple infection, but almost in tears thinking it might be time) and a whole lot of minutes to enjoy Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road. Have you read it? So good.
    I will post a much briefer response to the two other pieces you have posted. Loved your shared thoughts and words. I miss our time of searching for the perfect expression.

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    • Thanks so much for your response. I miss our writing time too. Glad you enjoyed a stolen morning. Sad to think of good ‘ol Wilson getting close to the end. Give him an extra furry hug from me. Haven’t read the Helen Hanff book. Will have to check it out!

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