Another day on this big beautiful blue spinning sphere. Thursday April 19th.
Last week I was recovering from a wee minor outpatient procedure and was groggy from the drugs they make you take. They slow you down on purpose which is annoying but necessary. Everything went well, and I’m fine so no need to worry. It gave me pause to take a couple of days off to rest.
Whenever one goes to the hospital, there is a touch of worry as weird things happen — that 1% chance of the “unlikely” is something you try to steer the car of your life away from but you aren’t in control of that trip always. So deep thoughtfulness pervades on those days.
I slept for 10 hours straight after the procedure, woke up to go to the bathroom, called my folks and was beautifully sleepily distracted by a video that my wonderful friend Shaunda posted on Facebook, Sam Harris, An Awareness of Death, give it a watch. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
The video got me thinking about moments and how we count them. How can we choose to see every moment that we have? Moments are something I’m continuously fascinated by and have begun to categorize as I continue to write a book on what sparks us in our lives.
Nineteen, 19, the 19th.
Things seem to happen on the day of the 19th in my life. It is a powerful number for me along with a handful of others — they are days when things both good and bad happen. I like paying attention to numbers. When I do play the lotto, which is rare, I have six numbers that I play. Though I feel like I’ve already won that game with the life, I get to live.
On these days in my life no matter the month — people are born and die, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, triumphs, failures, chance meetings, promotions, set-backs, big changes, and sometimes nothing happens, it all depends.
I have had forty-six April Nineteenths thus far. Of every day of each year that you have been alive, you have as well depending on how old you are.
April 19, Last year I was in Cozumel, Mexico with my dear friend Raya taking a Spanish class and being driven around to the remote part of the island by her sweet friend Sam. He took us for the “best mojito in the world” at the the 25-hour bar made fresh with a mortar and pestle. Mojitos now remind me of that lovely day and standing on the beach trying to make some sense of that last year of my life having moved to Los Angeles, just days before the trip.
April 19, 3 years ago I was in London for SharePoint Evolution about to go to SharePint at The Old Star. Fun with my tech family and friends and launching a new business partnership into the SharePoint world with Content Panda and Combined Knowledge.
April 19, 6 years ago on this day I was on my first trip to Tokyo, Japan having sung karaoke all night with a belly full of ramen in my AvePoint days. Airi, TJ, and our team treated me with such kindness showing me a city they love. No decisions were made just a continued love of learning other cultures.
April 19, 8 years ago on this day my Mavens and I had just thrown the Microsoft party for the AIIM conference in Philadelphia. I remember looking up at the night sky in the Fels Planetarium and felt thankful to be in the middle of a great job with women I adore, of the business I had built with a company I was and still am proud to work around.
April 19, My Grandma Doris died on this day 17 years ago. At 93, she loved life so very much that she didn’t want to go. From my Uncle’s retelling of that day, she was clear, strong and sharp and fought until her soul left her body. The final moment. I miss her and all of my Grandparents and Uncles that have passed. She and I have the same laugh and a similar fighting spirit.
April 19, 25 years ago I had fallen in love a week before and was getting ready to finish up my senior year and graduate college from the University of Washington in Seattle. A magical time.
April 19, 30 years ago I cut my hand on a large piece of glass. I broke my knuckle during a high school softball game. And I fell into the orchestra pit landing on my feet while I was choreographing our variety show tap number. This all in the same week at Wheaton Central High School in Wheaton, Illinois. A premonition that even back then that life will slow you down when you take on too much.
April 19, 45 years ago on this day I weighed 22 pounds and was 31" long per my baby book, and I slept with my arms above my head “like she is saying, yay.” Born to amazing parents who are as full of love filling out that book as they are with their emoji-filled text messages today.
I like drawing lines down a day to see where I was, what I was doing on a day much like the On This Day on Facebook, both the joyous and the painful. I know my friend Joe Hobaica started that with his amazing detailed posts about famous and infamous people and gave them the idea. They owe you residuals.
My Dad showed me an article from the newspaper of “on this day” when I was home last time. I love that section of the paper and have been reading it since.
I believe there is something to patterns and pattern matching. Something that AI and machine learning does without thinking, will we be cataloged by them soon? I do love looking at these things — do I remember every one of my 46 April nineteenths and other days and do I see the patterns?
Same when you look at where you were for each birthday, Christmas, any day where you can pinpoint. I find funnily enough that many times I am in the same city or with the same people certain days, weeks or times of the year.
When you stay in the same industry long enough there is a bit of rhythm or (rhythm of the business) ROB as we like call it. That ROB makes for some of that repetition, and is why for example I have had so many birthdays in different cities as the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference now Microsoft Inspire took me to them that week in July.
There are certain people, places, experiences that I’m drawn to over and over. Nothing wrong with repeating what makes you happy, pushes you forward or lets you relax. Unless those things and people are damaging to you, that is also something to take note.
I counted how many times Sam Harris, philosopher, neuroscientist and one who pokes the bear, who made the video said the word “moments”. He said “moments” five times and implied it what seemed like 20 times. I like people who talk about choices and that you make choices about how you see and react to things. Because ultimately is it a choice, on how you react, I believe this anyway.
If we did a better job of remembering moments or dealing them, maybe there would be less fear, pain, and suffering in the world. I’m no doctor, but it seems to me that trauma, fear, phobia, and blocks always seem to come from not dealing with something from your past. Therapists and healers in my experience rarely deal with the things and stuff of the present or future. It seems always to be that one thing that happened or one phrase you heard that stuck in your unconscious mind that colors every decision you make, everything you do or say at this very moment. Like the choice to have road rage or not — it does change your neurochemistry and stress is one of the big things that breed disease.
Memory is interesting to me for we tend to remember what we photograph, we tend to remember the good for the most part but also the deeply painful and tragic. Leaving a blur over the in-between where so much happens.
These are some observations on a hazy day of recovery for me, but I’m always moved by big thinkers who make me stop and appreciate the moment I’m in as its so easy to choose anger, sadness, fear or feeling sorry for yourself which leads to stress. Though those are valid feelings in moments too, but hopefully one releases them quickly.
Even with the beams of sunshine that come out of me close to 100% of the time, I am always grateful for a reminder that life is short. Because it is. Our ultimate job every day is to be the best version of ourselves that we can. And to fall in love with existence in every moment and to remember that the catalog of your life is a map to who you are, where you come from and where you are going.
What were you doing on this day?
For the many times, you already lived it?
Do you remember?
It all adds up.
Awareness. Existence. Moments.
Thank you for giving some claps if you liked this. :)
Written by Head Maven & CEO, Heather Newman, Creative Maven
Want more Maven Moments? Once a month we share where to find Heather in the world and the most “maven/expert” opinions on marketing, brand, travel, and culture that we like from the internet. Receive our next issue by signing up here.