On Monday night, the odometer in my car flipped from 199,999 to 200,000 miles.
I’d been watching it for days, determined to see this milestone. Determined to not miss it like I’d missed all the others:
100,000 (“100,017? Nuts.”)
111,111 (“111,136? Doh!”)
123,456 (“123, 458?? Sh*t!!!!!!!!”)
When it did flip to 200K, I felt a little lift inside me. An energy boost that comes from appreciating something you don’t see every day. I was even able to show it to a friend (it flipped to 200K just as I arrived at my destination). He was excited, too.
It seems natural to get excited about something like this. But the more I thought about it, the more a question grew in the back of my mind:
200,000 is no more unique than, say, 173,452. Why don’t we get as excited by that number? In fact, every number on the odometer is as unique as any other.
My tendency when I drive is to cruise along lost in my thoughts. The miles tick on by and I don’t pay attention to them.
Kind of like breathing. But with breathing, each one is vital to my very survival. Yet how many breaths do I pay attention to? How many breaths do I appreciate?
And both the miles and the breaths are representative of the stuff of life: Our present moments.
Most moments in a life seem pretty ordinary, not much different than the others. It’s easy to think I can just blow them off because there will be many more. An endless supply. But there isn’t. There are quite few actually.
From one perspective, you could say there is only one moment in your life. And that moment is right now.
Are you paying attention to it?