Like so many others in today’s world, I lead an extremely busy life. Running here, running there, always being wrapped up in making sure that each and every detail is cared for can make time fly by. Living in the moment can be hard.

Unless you just force yourself.

It’s a little bit like exercise. I am often asked (yes, even as a group fitness instructor), “How do you find the time to work out?”

Or, blogging. “How do you find the time to blog?”

Or, any of my Martha Stewart-meets-Macgyver-style crafting. “How do you find the time to make those?”

I don’t find the time. I make the time.

Living in the moment, even if it’s just for a moment, can provide some great stuff for your long-term memory.

Because I’m somewhat (Somewhat? okay, ha ha) Type A, I find myself often having to demand (to myself) that I “remember this moment”. That might sound a little silly, but for me it has made all the difference. I have many memories of little moments (good and bad) that made a huge impact on me in some way or another, because I actually thought to myself, “I will remember this forever”, as it was happening.

When the younger boy was two, we had just finished saying goodbye to his brother, who got on the school bus. We were walking back down the street to the house, holding hands. I suddenly realized that his little fist was completely enclosed in my hand, and I wondered how much longer it would be like that. As we walked, I focused on the physical feeling of that, smiling because I didn’t know if he felt any safety in it–he didn’t know any different feeling, right?–but knowing that I did. If I concentrate today, even though he’s fourteen, taller than me, and possessing adult-sized hands, I can still feel his chubby, smooth, tightly-fisted toddler hand inside mine.

When the older boy was ten, we went to Six Flags on one of the hottest days of the year. By the time we arrived there, in time for the park’s opening, it was already in the 90’s. We stood in line with thousands of people while we waited to go through their slow security screening. When it was our turn, the older boy told me he didn’t feel good. He didn’t look good either. I suspected he was going to be sick, so as soon as he and I got through security, we left Jim and the younger boy to finish their screening and took off for the restrooms just inside the gate. I was holding his hand, and I was going faster than he could. I felt him starting to lag, and I knew he felt awful. His hand, as I was pulling him towards the restrooms, was going limp. He went from actively holding my hand to just keeping his hand in mine. I felt dread rising up in my body. That horrible feeling was the beginning of a three-day nightmare: he passed out within minutes from heat stroke and was hospitalized, which is a story for another day, but suffice it to say that it’s something I will never forget for as long as I live.

Jim’s hands are strong and gentle at the same time. After all these years, we still walk around holding hands. His hands are a great source of comfort to me; just a little touch as he passes by me does worlds of good for my mood. In fact, we have a little routine which I’m not even sure he’s aware about, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Our upstairs bathroom has two sinks. “My” sink is closer to our bedroom door. When I am standing at my sink, brushing my teeth or hair, or getting ready for bed, or whatever, if he walks by me from our room on the way to “his” sink, he runs his hand lightly along my hip. It’s just a little, sort of an absent-minded, automatic touch, but I love it.

So you see? Three powerful memories, three little moments, all about hands. What’s one of your most powerful memories? (hands optional)