Breathtaking

This morning I couldn't see anything up close.

My eyes were fine, apart from being dilated: I had an eye appointment, and, for several hours, my short-sighted vision was very, very blurry. I couldn't tell if I was actually signing on the line when they handed me the receipt. Driving home, I couldn't focus on the speedometer. I couldn't read or type. It was impossible to focus on anything within about a four-foot radius.

It made me consider how we are sometimes guilty of blurred vision in everyday life: how we can be going through the day, yet miss the things - details, really - that are up close and, though small, much more meaningful than we realize. It's so easy to zip through those quick twenty-four hours . . . thinking ahead to something going on later in the week, stressing over an upcoming exam, or wondering about job situations, etc. . . . without actually living today.

I completely know the feeling of struggling to enjoy now: it seems I am either looking forward to something in the coming weeks that I need to prepare for or an event that I plan to attend, or reliving the past. And I've struggled with how to find the balance between enjoying the present and planning adequately for the future. And, on a somewhat different note, I often get sidetracked by focusing much too closely on little things that are irritating or not quite right (in my opinion, anyway).

Nevertheless, in our typical preoccupation with that something or other in the future, especially, how many moments of joy and beauty do we pass by?

And not just day to day, but week to week . . . year to year.

It is not the car we drive, the job we have, or the money in the bank that makes life worth living; it is the moments, the snapshots in time, the scribbled notes on scrap paper, the flour covering countertops and small kitchen helpers, the sticky kisses, the sister secrets shared late into the night, the games of Cowboys and Indians in the backyard, the high-fives and air-fives and fist bumps, the Christmas picture finagling, the laughter and conversations around the dining room table . . .
In the end, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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