Never Let It Go

This morning I happened to hear a TV interview with Idina Menzel, who expressed her awe over being selected to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. She then went on to humbly ponder the past couple of years in which she steadily gained fame for singing (“Let It Go,”) TV (Glee), and Broadway (Rent, Wicked, If/Then), among other career triumphs. Then she made a comment that hit me between the eyes—she said that whatever your age, if you work hard and keep going, you will “get your moment.”

So I thought about that comment. What Ms. Menzel said is very true, but should be taken deeper, beyond the surface suggestion. The idea of a “moment” cuts across so many landscapes, not just those of fame and fortune. For some reason, perhaps because of media saturation, we tend to think of success as something tangible and huge, perhaps great wealth or the adulation of the masses. But those moments are temporal, with little deep impact on our souls or the lives of others—Andy Warhol’s “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Now I don’t consider myself anything special—no Oscars or Tonys, no international recognition or lucrative advertising contracts. Yet I too have had my moment—in fact, many of them—in the course of everyday living. I have seen adoration and respect in the eyes of my children and grandchildren. I have known great love, and great loss. I have felt the pride of watching my students achieve and grow, and have reveled in the self-satisfaction of seeing a show I worked on come together and shine.

The real moments that make all our living and hard work worthwhile are the small ones that creep in and silently change our lives forever. Our lives are full of those little shifts and gifts, and we just have to recognize and celebrate the real moments in our lives, knowing that the others are just so much time.

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