Everything has a unit of measurement. If you’re a carpenter, your rulers and squares are absolutely essential to your craft. If you’re a baker, you feel the same way about your measuring cups and spoons. If you’re an Italian cook, you may not bother with those cups and spoons, but you definitely use the ‘little bit of this, little bit of that” method that your grandmother passed on to you. We measure our days too. How many hours of sleep did we get last night? How long am I working today? Do I have enough time to squeeze in an episode of Orange is the New Black or Wentworth before I leave for work? And we are incredibly aware of our social media statistics. How many likes did I get on that last Instagram picture? Who’s reading this blog anyway?
The big question is, how do we measure our lives? I think that a number of people would say that it’s in terms of accomplishments or milestones. Graduations, jobs, marriages, promotions, children, grandchildren, and retirement are all things that come to mind. Life gets better with each one of these occasions. For other people, sadly, it may be more related to possessions. Car, house, boat, vacation home, bigger car, bigger house, bigger boat, second vacation home. So long as things are getting bigger and better, life must be good. I think children measure their lives in terms of moments, especially when they are young. Think about the way they come home from school and tell you about their day. It’s all in terms of what happened to them, and not necessarily how they did on that vocabulary test we helped them study for. I’m beginning to believe that we’d all benefit from looking at our lives in this way. Don’t get me wrong, accomplishments and possessions are wonderful things, but they’re part of the external facade, and not necessarily who we really are on the inside. Some people can go through their entire lives without ever being seen for who they authentically are. Thinking about our moments helps us to remember our true selves.
I read an interesting article a few years back written by a hospice nurse in which she talked about bits and pieces of conversations she’d had with her dying patients during their final days. As it turns out, most were related to moments. So it wasn’t the memory of the beautiful, expensive wedding they talked about, but rather the moment they knew for certain that they’d found their person to walk through life with. It was the moment their child or grandchild knew exactly who they were. It was the moment they knew they’d met someone who was to become their lifelong friend. It was the kiss that changed their lives forever. So if we start out our lives thinking this way, and apparently we end it this way as well, why not incorporate as much of that thinking as we can into the time in between? How much differently would we feel if we began to consider each day in terms of the moments we had, instead of just by what we accomplished, or what we acquired? I’m certain that the difference would be phenomenal.
Today’s cocktail is my version of a Pimm’s Cup that’s called That Was the Moment. In one of my very first blog posts, I talked about having my first Pimm’s Cup at a local bar, and then struggling to find it everywhere else after that. I decided to make one on my own and that was the moment I knew that I wanted to incorporate cocktails and spirits into my life in some bigger way. Posting about my riff on a Pimm’s also allows me to participate in an Instagram campaign going on right now called #sippingwimbledon that celebrates the Pimm’s Cup and cocktail instagrammers’ variations on it from around the world.
That Was the Moment
Gently muddle the cucumber slices, 1 of the basil or mint sprigs, and the strawberries with the gin in the bottom of a shaker tin. Add the remaining ingredients to the tin, except for the ginger ale. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for about 20 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with the ginger ale. Contemplate your moments. Enjoy!
*Mandarine Napoloen (or Cointreau here) will make the drink sweeter, Aperol will make it slightly more bitter.