A Gift In Each Day

by Alex Hutchins

Hours before the day dawns on the world in this area, I lay in my bed (wide awake) pondering and wondering, speculating and imagining what our world may be like today, knowing and realizing that other days in other parts of the world have already ended just as mine began; and, it really does not matter to me if they are actually behind or ahead as what could really be the difference in a few hours?

I have been told or at least heard a few times that wealthy people can celebrate New Year's Eve several times each year ( and some do) by flying from from time zone to another time zone; and, I suppose that this is done simply because it can be done, so in that fact must dwell all the excitement in doing it.

Minutes before the day dawns on this side of the world, I decide (without hesitation I might add) that my body is in need of coffee, but it is now only the decaf kind, so the need is more psychological than anything else... still, there is a need that must be fulfilled in me.

Fondly (or as best as I can recall), I remember both my parents (but I do have siblings) drinking coffee each and every morning, so I can sure that this is where the roots of my desire for coffee were planted; however, I can say for sure in an absolute way, but I typically awoke with no other people in the mornings unless I was away at some kind of summer camp.

The day has now dawned and as it continues its dawning process, I sit in the same spot on the same couch by the same table and lamp as I did the day before and turn off the air circulation fan just as I did the day before as it it too chilly in this part of the house in which I always find myself sitting.

Cats wandering around in front of me without knowing what they are doing after receiving their morning treats still serve to amuse me, but not as much as the first day I noticed this behavior.

Numbness in the fingers of my left hand remind me I should not attempt to pick anything up with that hand or move anything using these fingers for a few minutes unless I want the item in question to be dropped.

While decaf coffee may not tastes as good as my ole regular coffee, for the purposes of why any coffee is ingested at all so early in the morning each day, it works.

Retired and ready to go somewhere at a moment's notice, I reflect upon the obligations that I would leave behind: some important, some not at all, and I wish that I could possess that type of personality to just get up and leave, but I do not, as planning for me is the only way to go and the only methodology that leaves me with a relatively high sense of security... knowing that nothing is one hundred percent in that area.

Still, at this present point in my life, I know that my days are numbered (excuse the cliché) even though I would not gamble as if life were a game of Roulette with these numbers as some do; but, with that said, I am more aware than ever that the life we have been given, has been given to us in the manner and spirit as one might give a gift to a loved one.

If, we human beings have the capacity to love and hate then we damn sure have the capacity to appreciate and be grateful.

Oftentimes, and too often perhaps, we focus on love and hate and forget all about appreciating and being grateful. And, if humans had a flaw that would be it.

TinyBuddha.com lets us know that there are 7 Steps that we must take in order to achieve a beautiful life:
  1. Know thyself
  2. Define Beautiful Life
  3. Start Work on #2
  4. Appreciate where you are in the process
  5. Adjust expectations
  6. Count your blessings
  7. Live the life
But, while this Tiny Buddha seems to make sense, I believe that this Tiny Buddha is sitting on its own head, creating a less than positive circular approach to achieving this Beautiful Life.

So, let me explain:
Step One is a valid first step as one must understand who one is before any type of definition of what a Beautiful Life means to them can be created.

Step Two is also valid, in that there is indeed a second step, but I am not convinced that creating a definition is it.

It seems to me that Step One and Step Two are so intertwined that they cannot be separated but more importantly, it may take an entire lifetime before either is really and truly found. And, as Step One changes and it will change throughout one's lifetime, so too will Step Two change. Therefore, not only should these steps be combined but also be seen as a work in progress rather than an actual step.

Step Three is a natural by product of Steps One and Two, therefore it too should not be considered a step but a sub-process to whatever preceded it, consequently.
Step Two should actually be what the Tiny Buddha refers to as “Count Your Blessings.”

Step Four, according to the Tiny Buddha is “Appreciate where you are in the process,” but I would submit to you that this is an irrelevant step as if you know yourself and have defined a beautiful life then no appreciation need take place at all because of the constant evolution of yourself and what you are moving towards. Appreciation assumes that one has reached a static level and that should never happen.


Why is this?

Because, a beautiful life is composed of both good and bad from the very beginning which is why it should be referred to as a beautiful life... since one is alive as opposed to being dead. And, if you really know yourself, then you will realize that this is the only way to actually perceive and define a Beautiful Life... and, this is precisely why it is a lifetime journey. And, if you do not see it this way, then why are you taking this journey (or at least considering it) in the first place?

So, let's rewrite the steps...

Step One – know thyself/define beautiful life/start the journey
Step Two – count your blessing and be grateful
For example, I am thankful (blessed if you will) for the following:
  1. being debt free
  2. living where I am living
  3. having cancer
  4. have heart disease
  5. being married
  6. having the parents I had
  7. having the life I had (and still have)
  8. having only simple desires and needs
  9. understanding what I understand

Why am I thankful, blessed, and appreciate these 9 things? Because, I am the person I am now as a consequence of all these things happening in my life when they did... if, they had not happened, I would not be who I am today... I still be who I was.

So, how did you get here?

I don't rightly know, but I did.

So, you cannot tell me how?

No, not really...

My friend(s), each journey is different as is each blessing as is each perceived daily gift, and it is up to you to discover the right way to see these gifts and blessings and the right way to appreciate them as well but only after they have been truly discovered.

There is not right or wrong way to do this.

I cannot really tell you when it was that my journey actually started, but if I had to speculate, then, I would say it began on or about the time that I was first diagnosed with having cancer; although, I would also speculate that I had been on this journey already but simply did not know it... and, it may be much the same for you... as, we are all looking for something in life as well as out of life, but we just don't know what that something is or when it is that we are in actual possession of that something, until long after we have acquired it.

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