They’d been playing cards in the coffee shop for almost 10 years.

About a month ago I went to a coffee shop to meet a woman who was a friend, but whom I’d never met in person (long story).  While we were there, a woman and man came in.  I assumed they were married. She had a little bag that she put on the table and began to take out a pad of paper, a deck of cards and a pencil.  He went up to the counter and ordered a bagel and two cups of coffee.  When he returned with the food, they split the bagel (each putting different toppings on it) and my friend and I started chatting with them. We learned that they frequented the coffee shop to play cards and enjoy the ambience of the location.

I thought nothing much of the encounter.  A few days ago I stopped in for a quick hot tea on my way to take care of a months worth of holiday shopping in three hours (don’t ask).  As I walked in, there they were.  I couldn’t resist and I joined them.

Retired over 10 years ago, she was recovering from cancer, he of a heart attack (massive).  They felt the grace of still being able to play cards together.  I asked them why a coffee shop and they told me that when they first met, it was over a cup of coffee.  The experience of buying a cup of coffee – which we all take for granted – means so much to them.  It means the start of their love, their life together, and their ability to continue to experience the joy of being alive.

It is so easy to take for granted the little things in life.  A cup of coffee.  A bagel with cream cheese.  Playing a game of cards with the love of your life.  It’s so seriously easy but we make it so difficult.  We live our lives with the craziness of our negative emotions, fears and insecurities.  And, we fail to pay attention to the little things in life.

Yet, every day we wake up breathing – that’s a gift.  We have the freedom to choose what we’ll eat in the morning – something we take for granted.  We have a bed to sleep in, even if we don’t get as much sleep as we’d like!

We have people who will never let us drown.  We can see (or feel) the sun shine. Our iPod works (if we can find our headphones —- hey kids, stop stealing my headphones!).  Let’s not take for granted that we can get stuck in traffic, which gives us time to think. Or have our family around (ok – maybe that’s pushing it!).  What about the person who does something that hurts us?  That’s a gift that allows us to grow.

So much goes on each day that’s a gift.  I’m going to try to embrace the good in the present, instead of seeing the same things in the negative.  Want to join me?

Have an amazing evening!

 

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