Write On Wednesday~Pivotal Moments

 In everyone’s life there are moments which change the direction of your future.  Sometimes they are under your control, sometimes they are imposed upon you by fate.  The choices you make at these moments can be the turning points which decide your future. 

Write about a

Pivotal Moment

Yes, I know it’s Saturday not Wednesday – but I make my own rules (at least here in Blogland), so I’ll write when I want!  smiles>

Pivotal moments…the idea for this prompt came to me from a book – of course.  I was reading Lit, the third volume of Mary Karr’s memoir-autobiographical series (Liar’s Club, Cherry).   About midway through the book, Karr, in a drunken stupor, runs her car off the road.  As her vehicle spins out of control, her mind jumps to thoughts of her infant son  thinking that he’ll be forced to grow up motherless, and she realizes her life is skidding as helplessly toward disaster as the four rubber tires underneath her.  From that pivotal moment comes the impetus to get her life back on steady ground – to stop drinking, to pay off her debts, start writing in earnest.  Find a spiritual center.  And these things she does, although not without great and ongoing effort.

Rarely do pivotal moments come with such dramatic force.  I did run my car off the road once, and remember feeling nothing so much as complete helplessness as it spun out of control on the embankment above the freeway.  Did the experience prompt me to change my life in any way?  No.  But whenever I feel as if life is out of control, my heart returns to those brief moments when my life was, quite literally, out of my control, and I was whirling toward near disaster.

But most often, pivotal moments come and go and we never realize that a decision or action or chance meeting or casual word might have had a profound impact on our lives.  It’s in retrospect that we can see the lasting effect of a moments encounter,  in looking back over the accumulation of pivotal moments that we  clearly see how they’ve woven themselves into the tapestry that  becomes our life.

In the aftermath of horrible disasters, you hear stories about people who were miraculously saved because of a chance moment – a father who was late to work in the World Trade Center because he was taking a sick child to the pediatrician, a mother who missed a doomed flight because a meeting ran late, a vacation on a tsunami destroyed resort postponed because of a family crisis.  Returning to Lit, at one point Karr’s AA sponsor says to her, “You should be dead by now.  God saved you for something.  What is your dream for your life?”

I think pivotal moments lead us toward our dreams, either purposefully or inadvertently.  We just have to recognize the way they’re pointing. 

How about you?  Looking back, what’s a pivotal moment in your life?  Certainly getting married, the birth of my first child, deaths of people I love…those are all pivotal, heart stopping, life altering moments.   Other than those,  the moment with the most lasting impact has to be the moment I answered a classified ad in the local paper for a pianist at an area high school.  From that moment has derived nearly every important relationship I currently have (outside of my family).  It led me to my church home, to a multitude of wonderful travel experiences, gave me confidence to go forward into other ventures, including my office job.  It even led me to Magic and Molly!   Pivotal moment, indeed.

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4 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday~Pivotal Moments

  1. I think I’ll take you up on this one! I’ve missed “Write on Wednesday!” From where I sit, you nailed it. I find my pivotal moment (as you’ll see sometime next week!) didn’t seem so pivotal at the time. It’s the perspective of time that brings things into focus!

  2. Another blogger posted about her first meeting with her husband, and it reminded me of when I met my husband. I was looking for employment. I was offered positions at two different companies. The person who would eventually introduce me to my husband was employed at the company I chose. How different my life would have been if I’d chosen the other position. I agree with Jeanie. My pivotal moment didn’t seem so pivotal at the time. Perspective sheds light.

  3. I think there’s rarely pivotal moments in our lives….because our lives are determined by a sequence of actions

    Even meeting your future husband is only life altering because then you decide to date him once, to phone him once more, … It’s really only the evolution of those actions that make it life altering. Decisions to start doing sports are only life altering if after your first run or work-out, you do decide to go back the next day etc…

    Of course that’s not always the case, getting pregnant, quitting a job, … are quite pivotal. And those decisions really frighten me. I’m always afraid to make the wrong choices or to fail making choices when I should.

  4. Adding to the comment above… to me, pivotal moments can be those moments of decision, a time when clarity and insight comes… a moment that guides you towards that next step you’re going to take. It’s more about an internal change or realization (possibly sparked by an outside circumstance) that leads to the decision. And I agree… those decisions can be frightening. I’m always afraid of making the wrong choice. Over the years I’ve tried to teach myself to trust the insight that comes from the pivotal moment… and more often than not… I have found it to be very free-ing. (Is that a word?)

    I love how your posts spark conversations… with each other and with ourselves.

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