Today is a beautiful day. I woke up next to my soundly sleeping husband. I danced the morning away, lunched with a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I popped the top on the convertible and let the sun smile on my face. I sipped a chai tea latte while reading emails. And I received a text from my husband saying, “Feeling fine.”
I didn’t settle a case today, or receive any accolades for a job well done. I didn’t score a great deal on shoes or dip my toes into the warm waters at a sandy beach. And yet, it was a beautiful day.
Sometimes we need a reminder of how beautiful the mundane is… how important life’s “lesser” moments can be as they play out each day.
About a month ago, my husband developed a cough which led in turn led to a visit at a “Doc in A Box.” He was diagnosed with a cold virus and prescribed some simple medications, though given the nature of the virus he was told it would have to run its course. Two weeks later, still tired, coughing and now, short of breath, I forced him to see a family doctor who then referred him to a cardiologist. It wasn’t long before he found himself on the fourth floor of the local hospital, complete with sterile sheets, bad food and a hovering wife. After a roller coaster few days, he was back home and working towards getting his heart health back on track.
My husband is a relatively healthy guy. His stamina surpasses mine despite our 20 year age difference. Other than multivitamins and fiber pills, he takes no medications, nor has he ever been prescribed medications for reasons other than a cold or flu. So this event was particularly shocking given that I’m usually the one spending time in the hospital for this or that illness.
The month leading up to the hospitalization was tiring for us both. He wasn’t sleeping or eating well, he was tired and somewhat lethargic, a dry cough lingered. Yet, there was simplicity in ignorance. The common cold is not known as a killer, not even the silent kind. But when a cold virus attacks the heart, the results are harrowing.
After the initial shock of my husband’s situation wore off, I found peace in what could be defined as “little” moments: watching my husband sleep, his chest rising and falling, after the weeks of frustration when sleep wouldn’t come or seeing color return to his ashen face. Even his desire for food, spicy foods, sweet foods, any foods, brought a smile to my face. It’s just that these days those moments don’t seem so little.
This past Monday brought his first follow-up appointment with the cardiologist and with that the ban on driving, work and exercise was eased. We are moving back to the mundane. He asks if I stopped by the post office. I ask is he’s called about mulching the yard. These are gifts, my friends.
It’s a shame that it takes my husband’s health scare to remind me to be thankful for days in a convertible, mulching the yard and even making dinner. But it does. I’m only human. I get caught up in the busyness of life; the work, the errands, the bill-paying, the gym, the practices, the grocery store… we each have our list. I am not often present enough in the now to see the tulips on the side of the road as I sit at a traffic light. It’s generally about the next thing on my list. I just wish I could learn to embrace that there is a next thing on my list and to love every minute of doing it.
For now, I’ll be grateful until I won’t. It seems I don’t learn these things easily. I don’t heed the signs of life that point me to peace and harmony. I still bitch about potholes, toilet paper on backwards and why the remote is always in need of batteries.
Life is good and bad, scary and beautiful and most often, messy. Marriage, children, divorce, parenting, illness, aging, dating, they all teach in the most eventful of ways. But it’s time to look for the lessons in the mundane as well. The mundane provides the chance to breathe, to relish the ease of a moment that doesn’t bring stress or grief, to be thankful for the ebb and flow of a life lived, sometimes lived well.
Today, I’m enjoying the mundane; the sun in the sky, a dishwasher scouring the pots that I don’t want to and a full gas tank. Truth is, I don’t know what tomorrow holds. In fact, to borrow a line from my husband, “I can’t think past 5 p.m.”
But I know that today is a beautiful day.
What are you most grateful for?
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