Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort -- Humphry Davy, British chemist and inventor
Professionally, I have seen the big moments of people's lives. Babies being born, terminal diagnoses, car accidents, walking again after a major accident, death, survival, hope in the face of absolute disaster. Personally, the list is also filled with drama. Marriage, births, separations, holidays, natural disasters or achieving one's wildest dreams.
Between my personal life and professional life, I think that I may have seen or experienced more in my lifetime than perhaps some people 20 years older than me have seen. When it comes to seeing those moments of other people's lives in my working life, it has been a privilege.
Being a doctor has given me many more life lessons than I am probably aware of. It is these life lessons that have taught me how to enrich my life, my health and, I hope, the lives of other people.
I know the value of looking after your health. I know the value of good health care, of hope in the face of dire circumstances when the chips are down. I know the great joy that good news can bring and the sheer joy in seeing or experiencing something remarkable. But in among life's big-ticket items, I have learnt the value of the moments that make up the long stretches between them.
The value of laughing with a friend.
Getting warm on a cold winters day.
Getting cool on a hot summers day.
Sand between your toes.
A look between two people.
Holding someone's hand when they are frightened.
Watching a terrible movie because it's so ridiculous.
Making a meal for someone you care about.
The satisfaction of a job well done.
Faith, in others, a higher power or yourself.
Wiping away tears.
Getting a parking spot.
The big moments sometimes define our lives. That was the year when someone passed away or perhaps it was the year you got that big promotion or a child was born. And, good or bad, these moments punctuate our lives like commas or full stops in a sentence.
But this is not all of life, all of the time. It is not the drama, the excitement or the devastation. Life is made up of the little moments. The tiny things in between that make the minutes, the hours, the days.
Being a part of the big moments and the drama of them has made me conscious of the little moments. In the terrible reality that is the death of a loved one, for example, I'm yet to hear someone yearn for more skydiving or big job promotions. They want time, a hug, a kiss, a conversation. In the stark reality of loss, it becomes the little moments that we will crave the most.
And so, embrace the little moments and hold them dear so that the richness of life is yours.