Money can't buy the live music of life. A hummy Easter morning in my home: laughter, music, glasses clinking, tea kettle boiling. Or the sounds of life's firsts: My 4-year-old son's small, expressive, sing-song voice, which narrated an uncensored and steady stream of conscious thoughts as he puttered around the house searching for (and finding by himself) the brightly colored Easter eggs "hidden" in conspicuous places for him the night before.
Money can't buy the million butterflies released the moment of your first kiss: A once-in-a-lifetime rush of adolescent love that only you and one other person on earth will rightly remember. Money can't buy the sometimes bittersweet feeling that comes years later, when you realize you married the right person.
Money can't buy that deep, comfortable, peaceful sleep-state that settles in just moments before the alarm goes off. Nor can it buy the smell of my grandmother's powder room on a spring day: A combination of old stucco walls, wood floors, faded powders and potions, salt air, earth, and flowering peach trees; a scent that changes slightly when the breeze shifts and stirs the curtains... and summons a different flight of memories.
Perhaps most importantly, money can't buy back the time that you didn't spend properly in the first place. So just stop for a minute once in a while. Forget the viewfinder. Focus on life, exclusively. Watch it unfold with your own two eyes. Breathe life in. Bathe in it, bask in it, revel in it.
I'll try to do the same.