Ode to Ruining the Moment (And Finding Treasure)

Nick Nowak
3 min readFeb 24, 2021
Photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash

It’s wonderful to capture a moment with a picture but more common to ruin one. Here’s an example. I’m quarantining at home, being a responsible citizen, purging old clothes and electronics while I listen to an audio book on minimalism, re-watching Fargo (the TV series), when I decide I’ll do 20 minutes of meditation. After all, Chris Bailey told me I’d get 9 minutes back for each minute I meditate.

After fighting off the urge to buy a meditation bench — nice try, Chris — I sit on a yoga block and set my timer. About 3 seconds in, Winni, the best golden retriever in the world, gets off the couch and joins me on the floor, resting her head in my lap. Here I am, meditating, wearing my GoodMenders hat, supporting my snoozing perma-puppy (actually 4 years old), and my phone is at my side. I haven’t been on the Gram in a while, and this content is on brand.

My wife is working, so I have to find a way to prop my phone up and set the photo timer. I try the floor. Too low. Won’t get the hat. I try to balance it on top of a yoga mat. Too high. Won’t get the dog. I reach out for an end table. Too far away. Will compromise the scene. I see what a selfie would look like. Too lame. Who meditates while taking a selfie? Winni, fed up with my shifting, gets up and lies on her bed.

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Nick Nowak

Dad, husband, educator, camp guy, founder of GoodMenders.com — building better culture, masculinity, and leadership.