Monday, September 11, 2006

The Things That Really Matter

These are the things that really matter to me:

  • Loving people and being loved in return
  • Looking up at the night sky in a rural area and seeing an impossible number of stars
  • Laughing with friends or family so hard we can't breathe
  • Knowing someone else's life is better because I've touched it
  • Curling up with my beloved
  • Singing along to music at the top of my lungs
  • Eating sticky s'mores by a smoky campfire
  • Coming up for air, emotions swirling, at the end of reading a new book that's touched me deeply
  • Seeing a child's eyes and face light up with happiness when I enter a room
  • A happy, purring cat nuzzling my face with her nose
  • My favorite team coming from behind to win in dramatic fashion
  • Attending a demonstration for something I care about and looking around at a vast sea of passionate, dedicated faces
  • Being wrapped up in a warm, tight hug
  • The breathless, triumphant feeling of doing something I'm afraid of and succeeding
  • My boyfriend and I finishing each others' sentences
  • Finishing a piece of writing I'm proud of
  • Singing all the lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire" with my sister
  • The smell of cookies baking
  • Spotting a wild animal I've been hoping to see
  • Putting a lot of time and effort into something for a person I love and then seeing the look on their face that makes it all worthwhile
  • Coming in out of the cold and warming up with hot chocolate
  • Hearing a new joke based on a terrible pun that I find hilarious even if no one else does
  • Late-night discussions with friends who dare to dream about a better world and work to make it real
  • Accomplishing something difficult that I wasn't sure I could do
  • Watching a favorite movie for the umpteenth time and reciting the lines aloud
  • Swimming in refreshing, cool water on a hot day
  • Solving a complicated puzzle
  • Making a new meal for the first time that turns out delicious
  • My parents driving an hour each way to see me for an hour on a business trip just because they like spending time with me
  • Hearing stories about people doing the right thing in difficult circumstances
  • Reaching a breathtaking waterfall or pond or vista after a long hike
  • Curling up in a warm, soft blanket and reading a favorite book

Life is incredible, and it can end in an instant. Instead of giving in to fear or anger, perhaps we can use our sadness and our memories to remind us to shape our lives around the things that really matter.

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