I have a friend who lives by a three-word philosophy: “Seize the moment.” Just possibly, she may be the wisest woman on this planet. When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is at the ready — open to adventure and always up for a trip. She keeps an open mind toward new ideas.
Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your shoes in for a pair of Roller blades or to skip taking the elevator down and try out bungee jumping!
Too many people put off something that could bring them joy just because it’s not on their schedule. I got to thinking one day about all those folks who passed up dessert after dinner or passed on spending time with their kids on September 10, 2001 because they needed to cut back or because they were too tired. The next day they went to work and never came home again!
In the wake of 9-1-1 I’ve tried to be more flexible. How many of us will pass up a last-minute invitation to dine out with the hubby or a friend because we’ve already taken something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner?
How often have your kids tried to talk to you and you shushed them into silence while you watched television or finished something else that you were doing? Have you ever told your child; “We’ll do it tomorrow” and, in your haste, missed that really sad look on his face?
Have you ever lost touch with someone or let a good friendship fall by the wayside? Have you put off calling someone just to say “Hi?” I think about how many times I’ve called or e-mailed a friend or a family member to say, “I miss you, how about getting together today or this week?” Only to have them reply; “I can’t…because it is too short of a notice or I’m tired or I have too much on my plate or I’m too stressed out or it looks like rain or, simply, I’m sorry, I just don’t feel like it.” Maybe the additional response was; “I’ll let you know when things get better for me…”
We Americans cram so much into our lives that we practically schedule our headaches! We live on a sparse diet of promises that we make to ourselves and we seem to feel that we can only do something when all the conditions are perfect:
- We’ll go visit when the baby is older.
- We’ll entertain-when we have a better house.
- We’ll do whatever it is tomorrow…
“Tomorrow” has a way of never coming and time has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises we make to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and discover that all we have to show for our lives is a long list of “I’m going to…”; “I plan to…” and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit, I will…”
Do you run through each day on the fly? When you talk to someone and ask, “How are you?” do you actually hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed reviewing your list of the next hundred chores running in your head?
Have you ever sat on the porch and just listened to the rain splashing on the ground? Have you ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed into the fading night at sunrise? If not, you are missing some of the best parts of life. Slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, it’s like throwing away an unopened gift. I have a sincere wish for anyone who is reading this: Have a nice day and be sure to do something you WANT to do, not something you SHOULD do.
Remember that life is not a race. You can take time to stop and hear the music before the song is over.