Feb 7, 2009 by


Lately it seems that the universe has been talking to me … giving me clues … clues about paying attention … clues about appreciating the moment … whispering in my ear to get me to stop letting the details of my life distract me from experiencing the thrill of living.

I met a lady the other day at the hotel gift shop. She was 80 years old and still going strong. Been through cancer and beat it. Been through heart disease and beat it. Still up and dancing and golfing and flirting and living life. And the thing that struck me … hard … was when she said:

“I don’t know how I got here”

She just couldn’t remember the moments that make up 80 years. They go by so quickly. 80 years becomes a blur of daily routines, obligations, requirements … 80 years of life with little living … only a few moments worth remembering … only a few moments to take your breath away. I’m sure we’ve all heard the quote:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”

This chance encounter with my octogenarian friend was not the only secret the universe was whispering in my ear. Just the other day an elderly relative passed away. She lived a long life and had many of the things that we all believe create a good run on this little blue dot. However, I’m sure if you asked her during the last portion of her life she would also have said “I don’t know how I got here.”

And just recently someone I knew from childhood crossed 30 years and an entire continent to connect with me, and was taken aback by how quickly 30 years had vanished.

I guess we all get distracted with the daily chores of living, and very quickly a life evaporates and we all wonder “how did we get here?”

So the question is: “If you’re going to get there anyway, what should you be paying attention to? And how can you stop being so damn distracted”

Maybe it is as Henry David Thoreau said: “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each” …

So what is distracting you? What are you thinking, needing, wanting, hoping for that will keep you distracted from today, from this moment? What distractions are you creating that stop you from having breathless moments that you’ll remember in 80 years?

As the ending of the Peaceful Warrior promises:

“Where are you?” Are you Here?

“What time is it?” Is it Now?

Are you paying attention to your life or are you also going to wonder … “How’d I get here?”

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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