". . .and the winner is. . ." Imagine this special moment in your life: you've been nominated for an important award and it's "envelope opening" time. There you sit, holding your breath, managing a purposeful smile that you've practised to stay put if someone else's name is called! . . . for "Best Western Swing Album of the Year, Swing Set: LeeLee Robert!" The sound that came out of my husband, Rick's, mouth was indescribable! I think he was more excited than anyone! I ran to the stage around tables and up the podium steps - and I had a long gown and high heels on! I was skimming the surface of the carpet like a gazelle. You've worked hard all your life, and a little recognition feels good! Right? You feel rewarded, and special. I managed a dignified acceptance speech holding my "Will Rogers Award." I was then ushered through the backstage labyrinth to sign forms and take pictures. The best part is how excited my husband was and continues to be because he tells EVERYONE! The day after the Awards you go back home and finish up your taxes, take out the trash, and call the cable company to tell them your internet isn't working ...again! Our lives can be perpetually filled with "busy-ness" - the flotsam and jetsam of the everyday mundane that can fool us into thinking we "don't have time" for things. If someone told us that we had 15 minutes to pick up and keep every $100 bill that was thrown down in front of us, would we find the time? If a doctor told us we had 3 weeks to live, would we find the time to do our top bucket-list items? If we found out that we had just one more time to say "Goodbye" to our loved one, would we say, "I love you?" Or "I forgive you?" I think about this stuff! The Good Book reminds us to be aware of our "number of days." There will be a time for each of us that we are looking at a few hours left in the pocketbook of our lives. My Dad used to say, "I'm not afraid of dying; I just don't want to be there!" My greatest desire is that I want to feel in my heart I had a life well lived, and loved. No regrets. The best lesson an award can give us is that life is made up of moments and choices. In the busy-ness of work, washing dishes, getting the oil changed and dropping off the dry cleaning, that we make sure to find time for date nights, family gatherings and conversations that include "I love you's." We find time to nourish our hearts and souls with wisdom of the ages. We find time to listen to music that weaves it's magic throughout our internal combustion engine and our physical, emotional and spiritual landscape. Let life change us for the better. The awards nights remind us that each life moment and choice we make add up to "a life well lived." Let's promise ourselves that we will be mindful of that on a regular basis. The important thing is not the award, but the precious moment of life that it represents. We are all "Award Winners" to someone - not the least of whom is ourselves. Life moments are not to be squandered, ignored, or disrespected in any way; but to be cherished, enjoyed and learned from as long as we can celebrate our life moments.