Extraordinary Moments

I’m going to piggy-back off of my last post to tell a story about a recent, happiness-causing, event. So you may want to read that one first if you haven’t, but it’s your call.

My husband and I were on our way to our anniversary dinner the other night.

Picture him, in the driver’s seat, repetitively clicking the scan button on the radio searching for something at least mildly entertaining to listen to. He pauses for only a few seconds on each station, glancing quickly my way before deeming the station unworthy and moving onto the next option. And myself, as the passenger of course, staring off into oblivion at nothing in particular, with a million unrelated memories clouding my brain. So disconnected from the situation that I offer no opinion or visible reaction to the stations he pauses on, forcing him to assume that I do not like the song. He makes an off-handed comment about the poor driving skills of the person in front, next to, or behind us. Or, more likely, all of the above. I try my best to ignore the comment, and make no indication that I have even heard him talking.

Besides the reason for it, which was to get to the restaurant to celebrate 2 years of marriage, it was a completely ordinary drive. A very typical snapshot of life in the car with the Karpens. There is nothing exactly wrong with, or bad about, this situation. But there is nothing remarkable about it either. It is our routine of getting from Point A to Point B. Simply coexisting.

Finally, he settles on a station where the DJ was talking. A good indication that they were just coming back from commercial break, and would soon be playing a song. I pick up my phone to, again, look at nothing in particular. And then, something completely un-ordinary happens.

Our wedding song starts playing on the radio.

He recognizes it first, smiles, and comments that they’re playing our song. I actually hear his comment this time, look at him and smile, and extraordinary happiness ensues. I am abruptly pulled away from the million other thoughts in my head, whatever they might have been, and for exactly 4 minutes and 11 seconds am able to think about nothing else except for him and I, and the fact that we are together, living in this moment.

I immediately recognized it as another one of those appropriately timed coincidences that force me stop over-thinking life, and allow me to just enjoy it, exactly as it is.

The thing about moments, of course, is that they’re fleeting. Before we arrived at the restaurant, he was commenting again on the mistakes of a neighboring driver. I, after enthusiastically singing along to our song, gladly retreated back into my cloud. This time with memories of us and our wedding, our family and friends, and happiness etc.. But the fact that the moment was gone didn’t diminish the fact that it happened.

This extraordinary moment is now a happy memory that we both share, and that I am now sharing with you.

For me, this doesn’t make the ordinary moments in life suddenly inadequate. As evidenced by my previous post, I enjoy those too. I laugh, literally out loud, at myself when I think about spilling beer while getting my morning coffee. And I do, completely and entirely, enjoy just coexisting with my husband as we go about our daily routines. But it is the extraordinary moments in life that make this all worthwhile. They throw me into a state of complete consciousness and let me know that I may just be doing something right after all.

So I’ll just be here, enjoying all of my ordinary moments, so that I’m able to recognize and enjoy the next extraordinary one whenever it comes along.

P.S. To Ben and Brendan: Thank you for playing our wedding song, and for generally just being awesome at life.

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