Day 629: The Eureka Moment!

My 40th year college reunion has been going on this weekend.

I’ve attended only two events, so far. One of the events I missed, unfortunately, was a panel discussion called The Eureka Moment! 

Here are excerpts of an email I got, a few months ago, about The Eureka Moment!:

Dear Class of 1974,

We are putting together an unusual panel for one of the symposia at our Reunion and we need your help!

We’re calling it The Eureka Moment! It will consist of twelve to fifteen short talks by classmates in a format that is a cross between a mini TED talk (without visual aids) and Moth radio (“True stories told live”).

We are writing to invite you to submit your Eureka Moment!

Please submit your story idea by June 20, 2014.

The Eureka Moment! is an epiphany that changed your life, whether it’s meeting a special person, overcoming a challenge, or experiencing a life-changing event. It could have happened long ago or very recently; it could be funny, sad, or poignant; a big experience or a small one. The only rule is that the moment must spark a change in your outlook or approach to life. Sometimes the realization that you experienced the Eureka Moment! comes long after the moment occurred.

Your talk should be no more than 5 minutes, and we encourage you to rehearse on your own in advance. You can speak with notes, but please no off-the-cuff remarks.

Everyone has had a Eureka Moment! and the panel is open to anyone in our Class. We will have a selection process, so we can’t promise your story will be chosen. We will read whatever you submit with great interest.

When I received that email, I thought:

Eureka!  I would be a valuable addition to that panel. Don’t I write about Eureka Moments! in my blog, almost every day?  Also, I have (and I help people to have) Eureka Moments in my work as a group and individual psychotherapist, all the time!

I also had these thoughts, too:

I don’t know if I should bother applying. Even though I think I’ve had lots of valuable, worth-sharing Eureka Moments! … maybe the selection committee won’t agree! After all, there are many Very Important People in my class, whom they’ll probably choose over me. My application probably won’t be good enough. Also, how in the hell will I pick just one Eureka Moment, out of all the ones I’ve had in my life?! AND, if I apply and they don’t pick me, then I’ll have to deal with more Rejection, Schmejection (something I wrote about here and here) (and here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, too, apparently).

Eureka!  I just realized that most of the negative and fearful thinking I had, above, are more examples of Fortune Telling, Mind Reading, Comparisons and several others of the  thirteen cognitive distortions that don’t help me (or anybody else, I believe).

When those negative thoughts appeared, back in June,  I used antidotes to those cognitive distortions — including

… and other helpful ways to counter that negative thinking, and I  applied for The Eureka Moment! panel discussion.


A few weeks ago, I got a rejection schmejection letter from the selection committee, which I felt bad about, for a few moments. However, I moved past that, pretty quickly, because I knew that:

  • I was a day late with my submission,
  • My submission was way too general, probably, for consideration, and
  • My good friend Lawry (appearing in previous blog posts here, here, and here) applied and was rejected schmejected, also.

Here’s a photo of Lawry, taken by my 16-year-old son Aaron, at a reunion event we all attended last night:


I hope it’s okay with Lawry that I included that photo. If it’s not, I’m sure I’ll hear about it, since — Eureka!! — Lawry is very good at direct communication AND he reads all my blog posts.

Now, you may have noticed, if you’ve been reading this post carefully, that I did NOT attend The Eureka Moment! panel discussion, at my 40th college reunion. You might be thinking: that’s an example of sour grapes!


(image found here)

I don’t think it was sour grapes, on my part. Circumstances got in the way of my attending The Eureka Moment! … but I’m not sure I can prove that to you, right now.

Instead, I’ll just  end this post by showing you a few more typical Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally  Eureka Moments!




Eureka!! It’s time for me to end this post.

Thanks to my son, to Lawry, to everybody who planned and/or is attending my 40th college reunion, to people and places that contributed to the creation of this post, to those who are doing their best to let go of unhelpful thoughts, and to you — of course! — for having any Eureka Moments! of your own, today.

Categories: friendship, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Day 629: The Eureka Moment!

  1. I went to a mini reunion this week where 2 more friends (more like people I knew for 5 years) joined our growing circle of high school acquaintances. It’s been more than 40 years since I’ve seen them and I had a mini eureka moment. I’m very grateful for having my health. Two friends in our circle have recently died and one of the ladies that joined us that night has been through heart surgery. We’re all in our early 60s.

    • I am in the same age range as you, and so were the people I saw at the reunion this weekend. I think several of us had eureka moments, as we reconnected with each other.

      I’m so glad whenever you and I connect here!

  2. Reunions are funny things — (I think) we get together with people we haven’t seen for a long, long time. Chat about the many, many years since last we were together, and then, we walk away, until the next time.

    I like your groups “Eureka Moments” idea — and I too wonder, how do you distill a life of Eureka Moments into five minutes? Is that a reflection of our times, where we consume information in sound bites and infographics?

    And, I like that as always, you made me smile and think and remember how amazing life is, right now.

  3. yeoldefoole

    One form of self care – for me – is to attend no reunions! 😉

    • YeOldFool, neither have I, possibly for different and same reasons. One, I went to more than 19 schools. Lastly it just does not interest me for there are so many new people to meet through my work, joining up with that are making Eureka moments happen that last a life time! Cheers ;~)

    • This made me Laugh Out Loud, YOF, as I read your comment in the middle of the last reunion activity today. Thanks for the big smile and the wink! And MicheleElys, thank you for the cheery addition.

  4. EUREKA!!! How does one give a Eureka moment speech in less than 5 minutes? This was a great post! No comparison for I do not read ALL posts, not enough time. I like your EUREKAS! You put a smile on our faces Ann 😉

  5. I think the letter they sent out seeking submissions for Eureka Moments was a bit pretentious, Ann. You can read from your notes, but no off-the-cuff remarks, please! I think by telling people they are not allowed to speak extemperaneously on a subject — that’s how some folks talk best, you know, Eureka committee, go through things in their mind and then just talk — they may have kept some class members from experiencing an Eureka Moment while listening to somebody else deliver their Eureka Moment without great rehearsal and speaking from the heart. So there. I’m glad you didn’t go to that event. Nya Nya Nya. I did that just for you to the codgers, I mean, committee who sent you the rejection letter. I hope you and Larwry had a lovely time at the events you decided to attend, Ann.

  6. Who knows what Eureka moments lie ahead?

  7. I did not attend my high school’s 40th reunion this weekend, Ann. I had every intention of doing so, but had not paid ahead. (I walked in and paid at my 10, 20, 30 and even my 35th reunion! My coworkers at my warehouse asked me to go instead to a concert on the last day of the Delaware County Fair. I enjoyed it immensely, know who my friends from h.s. are and will hear their disappointed voices or receive their emails, but I had a blast. It was like letting go of a balloon or kite… So glad you didn’t worry about going to the Eureka! presentations and still had a wonderful reunion, Ann! Congrats, we have made it for quite some time, in our own ways! (You said this was your 40th college reunion, I realize we are only 4 years apart…so glad to know this, too. I have enjoyed Homecoming at my university even when not for reunion years.) I would like to hear your Eureka! speech, even if you were not able to present or make the deadline…. just saying…

    • Well, Robin, your “just saying” was a blast for me to read. Thank you for sending over all these wonderful thoughts, like beautiful balloons and kites!

  8. This post is inspiring, as your posts so often are, and personally useful to me at this moment. I enjoy all your Eureka moments.

  9. Pingback: Day 639: Easy/difficult as pie | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  10. Pingback: Day 2408: Accepted | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  11. Pingback: Day 2486: Shocking confession. I’ve made mistakes. | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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