It was the perfect day.
I told the hubs this at 7:30 in the morning as I gazed at the slanting rays of sunlight coming through our trees. Our broken tile floor was gleaming and clean; the medium-bold aroma of coffee wafting around us. The algae ridden pool was finally crystal clear. No longer did the ant poison and pots and pans litter my counter tops. Every thing was in its place and for this brief moment of time I enjoyed it. The words above rarely leave my lips; especially so early in the morning. It was a slice of heaven.
At my work desk I saw the email from my girlfriend; an excerpted passage on the human predicament from the late comedian George Carlin. The hubs leaned in with me as we read; what we both thought would be humorous. Instead we hugged, sharing our affection for one another.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.~ George Carlin.
The moment, just an hour before, flashed in my mind. It had stayed with me through my commute to work until reality brought me back. As I wrote my to-do list upon my desk calendar a thought struck me.
It is always in the fall when I go through my physical and mental transformations. Seven years before, during my annual doctor’s appointment, the squamous cells were found; the surgery scheduled and dispensed with within a month’s time. Three years ago came the false positive mammogram. Another year came the colonoscopy with more worrisome thoughts of the big “C.” Thankfully, these medical issues have come and gone but it is always during the autumn (as well as summer) solstice that my life changing events occur. I am born and married this month, the 9-11 tragedy sadly happened and my eldest son was birthed; all in this ninth month of September.
And so it was a bit of a surprise to find myself in the chair; a hastily made lunch appointment with my hairdresser. What I had thought would be a trim became a shedding as I lightened the burdens of my life and returned to the haircut that I always adore; the short, page-boy, A-line bob. I chose to not go with the hairstyle others preferred, being true to self. The long-layered hair, eleven inches worth, fell away; scattered across the black and white tiled floor.
I am rediscovering the person beneath without the veneers. I am finally being true. I am learning to appreciate the simple, not-so-perfect things that take my breath away.
Did my husband love my haircut? Absolutely not. He is accustomed to my hair shenanigans. Twice, while on six month deployments, I cut my hair and sent the remnants in rubber bands for him to enjoy whilst on his aircraft carrier; on the other side of the world. It is he who enjoys the long locks; though when we he met me they were always short. I embrace change. My hair always grows back, longer and thicker; now with smatterings of gray. I tell him this and he grimaces; not offended in the least. He loves me anyway.
When you truly discover what’s important; it’s this passion that motivates you to live, each and every day. It pays it forward.
Later in the day, to my shock, the hubs acquiesced to the purchase of musical instruments; our sons’ love for music increasingly loud and clear. And with the click of a button another package is on its way to create more noise within our house’s four walls. The joys these packages bring are not weighted in monetary cost. The value of shy joy as the son fingered the mother-of-pearl keys; priceless.
The hubs has finally learned to stop counting coins and, instead, count moments. He is learning to overlook the expense and actively listen to what our sons say and play. Over the years he lamented the cost of soccer cleats, swim fees for the competitive swim team, piano and golf lessons, and religious education. Our boys won’t be the next Beethoven, Christiano Renaldo, Michael Phelps or Tiger Woods. And isn’t religious upbringing free?
The bean counter is on hiatus; an unexpected surprise on my perfect day. The clean tile eventually became trodden on; trails of toast enticing ants to come out of hiding. Homework and signatures were haphazardly thrown upon my counter top. Upon returning home from work, the low D on the sax register reverberated as I walked through the garage door. I can now play alongside this son; entertaining my boys with my alma mater fight song.
Never had we imagined this scenario for any of our sons; nor their desire to serve during our Sunday services. We happily grin at the homecoming pics of our friends’ son; the one who belongs. Funny how life works itself out. We never can control where it will take us. We never know if we’ve ever arrived. But we can take the moment and enjoy it. The hubs takes the pic of the son and I above; effectively capturing it in pixelated form.
The clear pool water beckoned. With my Dolfin uglies on, our family left the piles of homework, instruments and dinner prep on-hold. In this moment of time we chose what we wanted to do; not what we had to do.
We jumped. Happy fall. May your transformations be small and your gratitude be full. Live the moments of your life by doing; not counting.