Some mornings I sit and stare out the window at nothing and let my mind wander. Sometimes I’m instantly warmed by the vision I see. It’s easy when the sun is shining, its rays warming me through the window. Other mornings, there’s an overcast sky and I see the dread on the faces of those around me and in the posts on social media. I’m disappointed hearing people use phrases like, “I don’t feel like Mondaying” or seeing pictures of someone in anguish with the tag line, “When you think it’s Friday but it’s actually only Thursday”. Before the stroke, I was amused at the sentiment, but since, I’ve found myself in a different space.

Today, while I write, it’s raining again. There’s a part of me that looked out the window as I got out of bed and whispered “more of the same!”, as though I should be bored with it and ready to move on. Fortunately the rest of my mind woke up and shouted back, “you missed the point, dummy! It’s MORE!” Mr. Shout inside my head is right, and thankfully, he’s there to catch me and keep me from lazy thinking. My near miss accident has made me exceptionally grateful for every moment of every day. Does that mean I should ignore engagement with the mundane and always focus on the bigger picture? I don’t think so. I can still be caught up in the news or politics or think about the future impact of using too much toilet paper every time I clean my turd launcher, but the fact that I have a day to enjoy is not lost on a man who has had to take stock at how close the axe came to his own neck.

I’ve been busy the last few days, involved in a project that has been stewing on the back burner for nearly 2 years. The results of the project, once complete, will be more than eye catching and attractive. It’s one of those projects that an aspiring designer would give anything to have in his portfolio. I like to dream of myself as an aspiring designer. The project could be astounding, if my designing eye was set loose. It certainly gives new meaning to the phrase “wandering eyes”.

The difference is dramatic. See for yourself.

Lately, for the first time in business, I find it difficult to engage in the race. So what if the rabbit is there; my chase instinct has been replaced with the desire to simply toy with it. But, as Dr. Phil would diagnose, “That dog don’t hunt!” I understand the need to chase after work and make an income for my wife and family. I just have no enthusiasm to deal with the urgency and stress of making it happen. The importance of everything has come up for question. Questioning the value of any endeavor should be ongoing throughout life, if our endeavors are to have any value, but that questioning gains strength if one has recently taken a severe hit. At least it has for me, even though I tend to be a terrible judge of what’s best for me.

For the first time in life, I find myself grateful every morning that I’m breathing and still have the functioning of the body God gave me. When a person’s had a life altering experience, the desire to make an impact with actions simple and complex becomes acute. Mindfulness is not just about being aware of your inner state, but also about being aware of how you’re interacting with everything around you. I’ve come to realize how many bits of my life I had become careless with, not recognizing their value and potential. When one isn’t living this from the inside, it looks intense, giving so much attention to every moment. A person may feel like they’re wrung out like a dishcloth at the end of each day. However, this is upside down thinking and does nothing to capture the essence of what’s going on. The dishcloth gets wrung out by external forces expelling every last ounce of what’s inside. You can be that force upon your own life. Here’s the startling truth; when seeking the value of every moment of every day, you transform yourself from the dishcloth to the sponge. A sponge can also be squeezed out completely, but in doing so the vacuum ready to draw in something fresh and new is created simultaneously. There’s room for more!

Rainy days, the first day of the new week, having to work one more day before the weekend, can sap the life out of you if you’re a dishcloth. But you can also be a sponge! Seeking the value in every moment of every day can create the vacuum within you to draw in something new and fresh. The point really is that IT’S MORE! Replacing duty with opportunity makes it so that even more rain is welcome. Take that opportunity for what it is. Rain is beautiful, even if it is followed by sunshine.