Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they have not thought about it, do not have it on their schedule, did not know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine. I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I have tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband did not suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing? How often have your children dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would hesitate and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain. And my personal favourite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because people cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves about how we will live well when all the conditions are perfect! We will go back and visit the grandparents when we get little Stevie toilet-trained. We will entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We will go on a second honeymoon when we get another child out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’
I have a “seize the moment” friend. She is inspirational. When anyone calls her, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord. Stay close to friends like these as they can help you live 10 average lifetimes in one. They help you live more joyfully and in bliss – happy for no reason.
When was the last time you watched children playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain splashing in a puddle? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or watched the sun all the way as it was dropping below the horizon? Do you run through each day with no focus on the joy of the moment? When you ask ‘How are you?’, do you really hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next list of chores running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow’, and in your haste, not see the sadness in his face? Ever lost touch or let a good friendship fade away? When was the last time you just called to say ‘Hi’?
I have not eaten much ice cream in the last 20 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….thrown away…. life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.
‘Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here, we might as well dance!’