The Things I haven’t seen

I will not be able to see the McGregor Fight. I know that already, as it will be on Pay-TV only and until now I have not yet received an invitation from a friend, who would host a get-together/a party and stream this fury of fists.
But I also know for a fact, that even among the people sitting in the arena on the day of the fight, on seats worth thousands of dollars, there will be some who`ll miss out on the best moments. Why? Because there`ll be looking somewhere else.

They`re gonna look the other way, just right at that defining moment: an incredible uppercut, a –  maybe quite literally – jaw dropping combination of blows, that final knockout-punch.
They`ll be looking at their watch, their cellphone or that millionaire`s smoking hot trophy wife three seats to the left – and they will miss out on a great moment not only in sports history, but their life.

Which brings me back to my own life. Some time ago, I was sitting in our living room, daydreaming, browsing through some magazine I originally had no intention of reading, when – for no particular reason exactly – I just lifted up my head and took a look through the room`s rooftop window. It depicted a view of the vast clear blue sky far up overhead, the tip of the garden trees, swaying in a light evening breeze, basking in the warm and magical light of a just beginning sunset. And right at that very moment, right then when I was looking up, a plane crossed into the view and made its path across the picture frame, right through that little window patch of evening sky, moving silently, gracefully against the blue background, making its way through the scene and in short sparkles reflecting the rays of the setting sun.
Now I do not know whether you can relate to the experience but to me it was a beautiful sight to see. Especially so as I did not expect it. I did not look for it and I did not see it coming. But it stayed with me, that picture, that scene, that moment.
And it got me thinking. How many things have I missed out on in my life, just because I looked the other way that very moment when it happened? A curious combination of clouds in the sky up over my head, forming an actual word or picture shape. A girl secretly blowing me a kiss. Some guy hilariously crashing with his bike in the crowded city streets. Some hot girl walking topless past her window. The last twinkle of a dying star in a galaxy far, far away…
Things of beauty, things of comedy, things of remarkable meaning.

Life is full of those little moments, those jewels and gems, happening all around you, all the time.
Sometimes you look and you look and you look, hoping to catch one. But nothing happens. Like when watching out for rare animals, or a boring sports game.
Sometimes you try to make it all certain, by planning it all out, by being at the right place, at exactly the right time. But fate just crosses all your plans. Like when you`re in for an awesome date, but your car breaks down at the very last moment. Or like when eighteen century French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil tried to capture the transit of Venus in 1761, sailed all the way to India, only then to be denied landing for political reasons, thrown off course by unfavorable winds and left out at sea on the defining day where he did have clear skies, but no way of taking accurate astronomical measurements. He then decided to wait in India another 8 years until the next transit of venus, settled down, got himself accustomed, built an observatory, but when the final day came, the skies where simply clouded.

The thing is: you cannot plan these things. Guillaume had to learn this the hard way. Granted the fact, he also was hunting for a very big gem: Venus transits occur in pairs, but only every hundred years or more. Nevertheless, in spite of everything, there is one thing he did not do: Looking the other way.

So many of us miss out on life each day, as we tend to keep our head down, looking at our phones, staring at computer and TV screens, reading the news. We might not only miss all those little things happening around us, but miss out on life itself. Because in the long run, life is not about filling your time. It is about doing things, making experiences, making memories.
And do not think that if you missed out on something, a clip on YouTube or a written report could ever make up for it. Because there is so much more to a moment than could ever fit into the frame of a screen. For starters, not even the impression of the colors will be the same on that screen.

When you`re really there, in the moment, you get it all: the look of the colors in the light, the sounds rumbling around you, the smells in the air, the feelings in your mind and body. It gives you power over the moment. This moment, this experience is now yours: to hold it dearly, to highlight and to transform, to polish and to shine it in your mind over the years to follow, making it your very own. One of your very own jewels, in the collection of a lifetime.

Therefore, from time to time, take a moment: lift your head, look around, listen, breath and take it all in. And look everywhere and elsewhere to maybe catch that special one. Because although you cannot plan these things, you still have to look out for them and give them the opportunity to be seen.

And if you are watching the Mayweather-McGregor fight, be sure to not just watch it, but make it an experience, wherever you are, any way you want to.
Look around the room, filled with your friends, yelling, shouting, throwing peanut flips at the TV. Or look at that millionaire`s wife, or better your own beautiful girl sitting next to you, blowing you a kiss. Because you know, in the end it`s not even about seeing the critical knock-out punch, it`s about making a memory.
And even when you`re watching that fight on a shitty little smartphone screen, in a toilet-stall at work, hiding away from your boss, be sure to take it all in: the shitty screen, the shitty smell, the uncomfortable seating position – and years from now, you`ll just know how it all felt, and you`ll have something to laugh about.
And then, even though you were not able to look everywhere, everytime – you might just say:

I have seen it all.

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