[Kelly’s Newspaper Column]
Birthdays make us a bit more reflective, another trip around the sun and all that. Maybe we would be better off if we thought of every day as a birthday. I recently shared in my weekly joy letter a quote that states, “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” Thank you, Charles Richards, for that little nugget of insight.
We all have the choice to greet each day as an opportunity. Many times we forget we have that choice and switch to auto-pilot doing the same-old same-old. Once in a while a life event will trigger us to seize the day, but do we carpe diem every day?
I agree with Annie Dillard who says “Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.” At this point in my life (older and wiser), I’ve discovered the key is to commit to less. When we are young we think we must fill our days doing all kinds of things, some of which we enjoy, and much that falls under the category of Shoulds, Duties, and Obligations.
The more you can release the SDOs, the more you can seize the day and spend it your way. As we get older, we understand too that the days to seize are not infinite. So when something entices you, ask yourself why not do it now?
Remember the words of Norman Douglas: “Why always “not yet”? Do flowers in spring say “not yet”?” Life is in the here and now. “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” Fr. Alfred D’Souza
Celebrating my birthday is a joy, but I remember feeling bummed out on my 25th, feeling old, a quarter of a century already. Now I’m two quarters plus and I take nothing for granted and I do not feel depressed to be aging. Just the opposite, I am quite grateful.
In 1875, John Muir wrote, “The glories of a mountain campfire are far greater than may be guessed…. One can make a day of any size, and regulate the rising and setting of his own sun and the brightness of its shining.”
How are you regulating the rising of your sun and the brightness of its shining?
As for me, I choose to take one day at a time, inject a little silly, a little happy, a little love and enjoy. Hopefully tomorrow I wake up and have a new choice. (Some days are sillier than others.) I find enjoyment in my work. I find enjoyment in my home. I find enjoyment in clients, colleagues, friends, family. I find enjoyment in my life partner.
It is up to me to find enjoyment in every day. That is what we learn as we grow older. Birthdays are a wonderful reminder but to go 365 days until I am reminded again is not a good plan. So I create reminders every day. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
To paraphrase Emily Dickinson: That it will never come again is what makes this day so sweet.
On my birthday, yours, any old everyday, let’s make it sweet. It will never come again. Cheers!