The Value of the Middle

I read an instagram post last night about “the last time.” The idea was what if you knew in the moment that something would be the last time; the last one. The last time you talked to someone. The last time you’d play as a kid. It was a rather melancholy idea at first. Then she ended it saying she wouldn’t want to know because she wouldn’t be present. She’d be observing it instead of living it.
It made me realize we often get rather hung up on first and last. We make them mean more than they maybe should.
First kiss.
Last kiss.
Last first kiss.
We label them and hold these moments apart from the others, as if they are more special when maybe the real challenge, the real feat, is in remembering the middle – not the end or the beginning.
What if we stopped and decided that the 1.522 time we did something was a moment to behold?
What is it about scarcity or novelty that captures us more than continuity or steadiness?
It’s a mindset, I think. We have the belief that newness or “almost gone” make them more valuable.
But they don’t.  I think we get confused because they may just be the moments when we are most present and we realize that the time before or after has been lost with a lack of awareness.

The bookends of anything, while great at marking time and space, are nothing more than bookmarks in our life so far.
We romanticize starting and stopping as we often show the beginning of a race or the finish. But I am realizing that the middle is where the substance is. It’s where contentment often rests. It’s where the creation of something is in progress. Whether that’s a relationship, a career, an experience, a family. It happens in the middle spaces, in the gaps — as it were.
The end of something only has meaning because of what came before it. And the start only is known as a start, typically, in reflection.

It has to last long enough for you to be able to look back and say… this is where it all began.
We meet new people all the time and it’s not apparently the start of anything because you don’t know what will stick or slide.
But the middle is where the action is. The middle is where the meal is enjoyed, the life is lived, the love is grown or the training is done.

The middle is where the memories are made. And yet we want to rush the middle all the time to know what happens, how it ends, know how it turns out. We fool ourselves into thinking that the end/the resolution/the finale is where the joy is.
But we’re wrong. The end is when we see how amazing it was.
The “in progress” is where the amazing is felt, experienced and soaked in.
Everything else is potential or perspective.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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