Let me tell you a short story.
A friend of mine opened his wife’s wardrobe and picked up a silk-paper-wrapped package:
“This, he said, “isn’t any ordinary package.”
He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.
“She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on, she was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it.”
He placed the gift box on the bed next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral home; his wife had just died.
He turned to me and said: “Never save something for a special occasion. Treat every day of your life as special”.
This story had a huge impact on me when I read it for the first time. And since then I might have read it scores of times. What I find interesting about this simple yet impactful story is that it connects us with our mortality. Often, we save the best for the last. But we do not know how far into the future “the last” is. And those little joys that we could have experienced right now never get fulfilled waiting for those “special moments”. This story emphasises – Treat each day as “special”. Let us live our life to the fullest with what we have right now. Surprisingly, it also brings the focus back to the things that matter. It is a reminder to live your life in the present.
Obviously, I am not advocating to throw everything to the wind and just indulge yourself with a blatant disregard for prudence. We must make long term plans for the future and in the process we even consciously defer short-term gratification for those long term goals. However, we must remember that reaching the milestone or long term goal should not become a pre-condition for us to be happy. Life is lived in the present moment. It should be looked upon like a series of experiences to be lived and cherished, not to be survived through.
All I want to tell is that don’t postpone the simple joys of life. The quality of life that you are living today matters. Don’t confuse life with lifestyle. For example If you have the opportunity to spend a few hours with your friends, don’t defer it. Those moments are priceless. Another way to look at it is, if you feel like using your crystal glasses every day, do it. Don’t wait for a special occasion to take them out. Don’t save your special perfume for special occasions – use it whenever you want to. Dress well. Don’t always keep the best dresses in the wardrobe for the special days. If it gives you joy, wear them whenever you feel like it.
Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things. Try not to delay, postpone, or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. As someone has aptly said, Life Is Not Measured By The Breaths You Take, But By The Moments That Take Your Breath Away.
Each day, each hour, each minute, is special. Celebrate everyday.