Gratitude Gasping

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.
– Hilary Cooper

I’ve always loved this quote.  These days it has a bit more meaning for me.  I’ve spent the past month trying to keep my thoughts focused on the simple things that bring me joy, and not on the everyday activities that leave me panting and gasping for air.  I can’t change my breathlessness, but I can find peace and strength in those special moments.

To help me focus, I now keep these two lists on my bathroom mirror:

Things That Leave Me Breathless

  • Getting dressed
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Walking more than 100 feet
  • Walking faster than slow
  • Stairs and inclines
  • Laundry
  • Housework
  • A full stomach
  • Talking too fast

Moments that Take My Breath Away

  • My kids, everyday
  • Laughing with friends (ok, this leaves me breathless, too, but it’s worth it!)
  • Giggling with my Mom
  • Spending time with my brothers, in person
  • Sunsets at the beach 
  • Morning mist on a placid mountain lake
  • Hugs, especially from my kids
  • A starry sky on a crystal clear night
  • Morning light glittering off ice-covered branches
  • The smell of clean damp earth in spring
  • Sun on my face
  • Listening to my kids’ laughter
  • The firey glow of a sugar maple in fall
  • Toasting marshmallows and telling stories around the campfire
  • Witnessing again and again the amazing young adults my kids’ are becoming
  • The thoughtfulness and generosity of my friends

What takes your breath away?  I’d love to hear!

Happy Anniversary!

This week, a special friend celebrated an important anniversary: Jean had her double lung transplant 7 years ago and is still healthy, happy and strong.  She was diagnosed with IPF 14 years ago.  Congratulations, Jean!  You are my inspiration as I continue on my own journey..


4 thoughts on “Gratitude Gasping

  1. Congratulations Jean!!!! 14 years post diagnosis – strong and healthy. I’m glad you are here for my little sister.

    What takes my breath away?
    The world in which we live and how complex life is that depends on it.
    Standing on top of a mountain and having a 360 degree view.

    Seeing my Niece and Nephew in November of 2010 after a long time and realizing my sister has done a fantastic job as a mom. I’ve always known her as the girl in the room next to mine who I would chastise occasionally (sorry). Both my brother and sister humble me to no end.

    My Dodge WM300 truck before I drive it, after I drive it I am not as enamored however….

    What leaves me breathless?
    59 steps to my desk – usually more than once a day.
    Holding my breath as I walk past the vault near the cafeteria where yesterday’s left over lunch supports life of another sort.
    Moving several thousand pounds or rocks -again and again because I can’t decide where to store the extra amount 410 Quarry brought to my house AND charged me for.


    • You amaze me little bro — over and over. Spending time with you in SD last year made me so happy, and really drove home how much I’ve missed not being closer to you. We’ll have to work on that!

      I love you, and your support and faith in me means more than you’ll ever understand.


  2. Just found your blog and think it is wonderful! I especially enjoyed this post about all of the moments that take your breath away. Thank You for sharing your experience- I just know it will help so many people 🙂

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