I’m not sure how many times I have seen this quote written in beautiful calligraphy atop some stock photo of a sunset or a field of flowers. But if you add up all the office cubicles, powder room walls, coffee mugs and greeting cards which are adorned with this inspirational message, I would estimate the number to be somewhere in the, uh,  gadzillions.  In fact, I’ve seen it so much that I never really questioned it.  I assumed it to be the gospel truth, just like I was so sure that God was carrying that man on the beach when there were only one set of footprints.  But this past weekend, when the quote showed up in front of me for the gadzillion and one th time, I actually pondered the message. And you know what?

It’s a total crock of shit.

If life were measured by the moments that took my breath away, my life wouldn’t amount to much at all.  Granted, I have had a few of those moments.  And I will never forget that time that… well, never mind.  My point is that I respectfully disagree with the Hallmark assertion.

The older I get, the less important the pursuit of extraordinary has become.  In fact I’ll go so far to suggest that those breathtaking moments in life are short lived and ultimately unsustainable, often making me wonder if they were worth experiencing at all.  Well, maybe some of them.

But this weekend, Dave found a new spot on my face to kiss, just below my eye.  He was running out the door on an errand and, in his haste, missed the usual spot on my cheek.  It felt nice and I told him so.  So, I got another one – under the other eye — and off he went.  Did it take my breath away?  Not really.   Is it the best thing I’ve got going these days?   Pretty much, yeah.  Are these the moments by which I will measure my life? Most definitely.

Having tomato soup with good company. Digging into a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  Running my hands through my son’s hair.  None of these mundane moments required my resuscitation.  And if you ask me a year from now when they occurred, I won’t be able to tell you.  But they made my weekend, and make my life.

Today I am 41 years old, counting every breath and thankful for all of them, especially the ones I don’t notice… because I’m too busy living.

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