This morning I had the greatest fortune to remember that each moment I breathe the breath of life is a spectacular gift that can never be replicated. No two seconds are identical. No two hours the same. No two days with everything in common. I can never go back and live a minute that has gone by, nor redo a moment in my past. Second chances don’t exist, only new opportunities in unknown times.
My realization came when I discovered that I had been resenting my husband, Bruce. I was begrudging him for a host of “infractions,” from leaving his dirty coffee spoon on the counter in a puddle of spilled java, to not complimenting me as often as I thought he “should,” or for spending “too much time” on the computer. By holding on to these resentments, I was squandering each new moment I had with Bruce. Fortified by my resentments, I stayed stuck in past emotions and memories where I held onto hurt feelings and unloving thoughts. Consumed with such resentment I didn’t truly have much of me left over to experience the present moment. In fact, it was at this point that I understood that I had treated time like some trinket that I thought I could simply replace.
But time isn’t a good we can recycle. A minute of time today may have an equivalent 60-second span tomorrow, but it doesn’t have an exact replacement. So every minute we live is one we can never truly retrieve. The time I had thrown away to holding a grudge against Bruce represented life moments I could never recapture. Each second spent was lost to me forever. I was desolate and grief stricken. Thank god I was also reawakened. I knew that I did not want to give up my minutes, days, months, and years to such pointless activity. I wanted to live my life, savoring each and every breath as a once in a lifetime, unreplicatable, unreplayable, unrepeatable event I am blessed to experience.
So I dismounted from my artificial high horse of self-righteousness and self-pity and planted myself firmly back on solid ground. I owned up to my unloving behavior and sought forgiveness from Bruce. I also forgave him for any slights—real or perceived. In that moment, with my forgiveness offered to him and his extended to me, I saw him with new eyes. The mask through which my resentful self had viewed him disappeared and I was once more connected to this most amazing man. No longer was resentment filtering my life experience. No more was I clear cutting the minutes, hours and days from my life. I was back in the present moment, taking in each moment with reverence and appreciation for its uniqueness.
This spirit lingers with me today as I write this. At 7:57.08, I type these words and look out my window seeing a tree that will be somehow altered at 7:57.50 as I continue hitting the keys. While I may not have the discernment to notice all that is different in just 42 seconds of elapsed time, I have the awareness to know that change has occurred. Knowing that I won’t have another chance to see this minute again, I’m more conscious of how I’m spending my time. It’s far too precious for me to take for granted, its opportunities too wonderful to throw away where they won’t ever be found in the same way again.