I was out for my (becoming routine) two mile walk yesterday morning when I realized the sun on my face was making me smile. Then I greeted some other walkers and found myself smiling again; and it got me to thinking about what it is that I find myself smiling at. Here’s the short list (with a little thought it would be much longer):
A mother and preschooler sharing breakfast at McDonalds; the sun on my face; a warm car on a cold winter day; tree blossoms in the spring; flowers; fish in the pond; frogs croaking into the night; a warm summer evening; a late night thundershower with the window open; an empty highway ahead of me; kids walking home from the bus stop; a dad playing with his kids on the trampoline; my granddaughter calling out “Pop-pop!”; hugs; people walking their dogs; dogs walking their people; a greeting from a fellow walker; sunset over the lake; sailboats, big and small; the men’s group engrossed in debate; a friend’s successful transplant; another friend kicking colon cancer’s butt; a day without heart arrhythmia; glucose below 100; parents and kids holding hands; coming home to a dark family room with son and daughter-in-law snuggled in watching a movie; seeing my wife’s tears at a happy ending; holding hands with her; her sleeping on my shoulder; a walk on a warm sunny day; two little dogs curled up asleep on my brother; my family chattering away while I listen; a starry night by the campfire; anticipation of camping in a new place; an inexperienced Robin Williams trying to dump his holding tanks in front of an audience of campers in the movie ‘RV’; snuggling under a blanket in front of the fireplace on a bitter cold winter evening; singing a beautiful anthem; listening to great music; tears of appreciation for a well-wisher’s thank you; an emotional musical worship experience.
Distinctive by their absence from that list are things like money in the bank, paid for cars, a steady job, a semi-solvent retirement plan, etc.
Why? Maybe it’s the difference between what merely satisfies my need for security, and what makes me happy. Don’t get me wrong, when I count my blessings, security counts, particularly financial security, and I’m thankful for that. But what really counts are the intangibles, the experiences, just being in the moment, or maybe living life intentionally for some of those perfect moments.
At the end of the day I hope I’ve counted way more smiles than I have things. I hope that for you, too.
Counting my blessings, and mostly my smiles…