by John Long

Father’s Day weekend – reminded me of another of life’s lessons:  Seize the day and appreciate the little things

In today’s society, with all the events of our lives, the hectic schedules and relative focus on material things – it is so important to appreciate the little things of life.   Life is Journey, not a destination, right?  I struggle with this concept – as do most of you, I bet.  

The Journey analogy rang true for me recently.  Father’s day weekend, we drove 2 hours each way to attend a distant, barely-related, they-won’t-remember-us-next-week wedding reception.  Most of the way, although it was a beautiful drive along the river,  I was focused on getting there as opposed to really taking in the cool sites and great scenery passing by. 

After this day – I’ll never get it back.  Time is inescapable.  I lost my mother unexpectedly last year, which really puts mortality on a person’s mind.  There are any number of things that can shorten a life unexpectedly.  What makes it worse, though, is that I find myself thinking “If only I can get past next month” or “if I get that payment paid off, then…” or “I’ll start doing that activity when…”.  I struggle with remembering that today is today – and tomorrow it will be gone.  I’m not talking about spending yourself to oblivion (unless it is on a really great staffing software system I know of  🙂 ) or doing crazy, death-defying feats just to prove you can.  I’m talking about enjoying today for what it is.  And if you can’t – maybe you should change it.

Tips to help you make the most of every day you have… 

  • Enjoy today. Carpe Diem or any other slogan meaning the same thing.  Even a nice walk with your significant other is a great thing
  • Appreciate what you do have.  Borrowing a song verse from Sheryl Crow – “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got” – or something close to that.  I believe dreams and goals are great – see previous posts.  But, there is a limit. 
  • No excuses.  Arguably one of my biggest pet peeves is people that just make excuses.  Anything that comes up, they are QUICK to figure out rationalizations as to what happened, why something didn’t happen, whatever.  UGH!  A line from Invictus and the poem for Mandela:  “….I am the master of my fate”.  Folks – no excuses.  If you don’t get out of life what you want, it’s primarily on you. 
  • No regrets.  Yesterday is past – use those experiences to do tomorrow better.
  • Reflect.  Spend a few minutes at night, reflecting on the day.  Did you make the most of it?  Did you do what you wanted? 
  • Plan.  Spend a few minutes in the morning thinking about the day ahead.  How do you want the day to go, what do you want to accomplish.

I don’t believe in destiny.  I don’t believe my time on earth is pre-determined.  I believe thoroughly that I’m extremely lucky, with regards to my health, body and mind.  But, at some point, my time on earth will end.  From right now until that point, there is X number of days.  Unless something goofy goes on – or cryogenics works <ahem> – that number is less than 50 years (18,250 days ish). 

Folks – we all have the gift of life.  Appreciate it.  Appreciate it today.

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