Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow

It’s nineteen eighty-something, a time I call BC, before children. As I sit in traffic in my older model Datsun 1200 on my to work early on a Friday morning, I notice a guy about my age driving a brand new BMW.

Remember this is the time of the go-go eighties. You know the Miami Vice lifestyle glorified on TV at the time. BMWs, cigarette speed boats, cocaine, and hot women. I had one of those, my brand new bride.

As I look at this fellow, he picks up his mobile car phone and seems to be having the time of his life. I’m struck with a feeling of envy. “What the hell does he know that I don’t?” I’m thinking as he speeds off when the light turns green.

As the years went by and the economy changed, I learned how many of the people my age were living that lifestyle. When the dot com bust happened in the early to mid-nineties many of the high flyers came crashing to the ground. Repossessions, evictions, empty bank accounts was the fallout from the end of the quick and easy money.

It was around that time that I started a habit of gratitude. A practice. Each morning before I get out of bed, instead of thinking of all the little details I will have to tend to that day, I think about how grateful I am.

I start with the big stuff. Thank you for allowing me another day on this earth. Thank you for my wife and kids. Thank you for my health and the ability to make it better every day. Thank you for this home and a warm bed. After a minute or so of this I go find my wife, she is always up earlier than I am, and give her a kiss.

The evening is very similar except the kiss comes first because Kathie also goes to bed before I do.

It is still a struggle from time to time to maintain the feeling of gratitude. The outside world can wear you down.

As I mature I realize the values have changed. Instead of things I long for, it is the time to spend with my family. Creating those magic moments when Kathie and I can spend time together doing the simple things in life.

I cherish the time I am able to spend with my kids, even if it’s only a phone call to update me on how their day is going.

Kathie and I look forward to spending time with our new grandson and watching him grow to be a grown man and who knows bouncing our great-grandkids on our knees.

It was this slow realization that “It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Live, Love, Matter

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