I loathe emails that have "FW: Story of WHATEVER" in the subject line.
And 99.9% of the time, if I do happen to get one, I delete it without ever reading it.
My mom knows how I feel about these "story emails", so when she actually does forward me one, I know it must be worth the time to read it. This week I received one such story..... It really pricked my heart and made me think.
Its subject is something that I have thought about a lot in the last several years---- it started the moment I moved to another continent.... continued the closer I got to 40... and still continues each day, as I watch Jess grow into a young woman finding her own way in the world. As she and Jeff embark on their adventures together, I am hoping she will learn the lessons of this story MUCH sooner than I have. And I hope it touches you the way that it does me each time I read it.
A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer 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 City , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on as she was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it."
He walked over to the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral home because his wife had just died the day before. He turned to me and said, "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion."
Those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less.
I sit on the porch without worrying about anything.
I spend more time with my family, and less time at work.
I understand that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not something that we "get through".
Now I use crystal glasses every day...
I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket if I feel like it.
I don't save my expensive perfume for special occasions; I use it whenever I want to.
The words Someday and One Day are fading away from my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen, or do it NOW.
Now you can understand why my mom went ahead and forwarded it to me....and why it means so much to me that I wanted to share it today. For the first 2 decades of my adult life, I stressed and worried about STUFF; stuff that had nothing to do with the REALLY important things in life. And now, I MAKE time (and space in my budget) for the stuff that matters......
People often give me a hard time for how much we travel, but I intend, every single day, to fulfill that Will Smith movie quote that says that "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
And now that Jeff is becoming a permanent part of our family (yeah, he really is...), I hope to extend my "life-long learning" to him too.... I want to show my kids (both of them now!) about finding the moments that take their breaths away.... I want to teach them to appreciate each and every day and realize that life is to be experienced and enjoyed; it is not something done TO US and that we just GET THROUGH.
Jess and I have been BLESSED to have 2 men in our lives that love us as we are! (Because trust me, we are not easy!) But I want her to learn with her new life with Jeff what I have learned over the years with Mads. Life is precious. Life is fleeting. And life is to be GRABBED BY THE HORNS and LIVED. Don't waste time doing things you hate. Find a path that allows you to do things that you CHERISH. And start this Christmas.
We have a LOT of miles (1028, to be exact) to cover during our 9 days in Texas this Christmas season, but I refuse to see it as "one of those trips that we just get through" because we have planned an itinerary that allows our lives to intersect with the lives of the people that matter the most to us. We don't get to see our extended family very often, so if driving 1028 miles in 9 days allows us to have a little time with each of them, then we will figure out a way to enjoy every minute on the Texas highways..... Yes, there will be music and road games, for sure. Lots of Starbucks and Sonic stops. Plus several occasions to stop and take photos of those great Texas things that "shock the heck outta Mads" when he sees them...
I hope you have a season that TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY!