As I approach another birthday I have had several people ask me if I’m having a party or special event to celebrate. It is interesting how my view of celebrating “special days” in my life has evolved. My response to them this year was, “nothing special because every day is special to me”.
I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but over time I have become less interested in a party to celebrate my birthday because it’s more fun to celebrate life every day than to save up for one special day. That same theme goes for other special days like Christmas, New Years Day, Easter and many others.
Holidays are certainly a great time to get together with family and friends but my philosophy is no longer about special events driving my activities – it is about making every day of my life be a celebration and to spontaneously have parties and gatherings to spend time with family and friends. I realize that these events are a way for us to reflect and be grateful for our lives but my point is that these celebrations can happen every day – not just on those specific days.
My mother’s last words have had a profound effect on my life. When she left this planet almost two years ago, she was sitting on a Monday morning with my sister eating her favorite fruit – Bing cherries.
They were talking about a funeral they had attended for one of my Mom’s close friends the Saturday before, and she was sad that all her friends and my Dad were gone – she just wanted to be with them again.
She was relishing the moment with my sister and enjoying the cherries. She said, “My dad always said, ‘You need to enjoy every day of your life’, but I have a different philosophy – I believe you need to enjoy every moment!” – She then had a sudden massive heart attack, immediately lost consciousness and passed away within the hour.
Since that day I have been intentional about making every moment of my life a celebration. Even those times when technology gets in my way, or someone crashes into my car, or something else happens that brings frustration or sadness – I try to quickly step back and think about why I invited that negative thing into my life – yes, I do believe I am responsible to learn from everything that comes into my life – good and bad.
It is my sincere hope that everyone can adopt the philosophy of “enjoying every moment”. I believe the moment occurring right now is all we have. The past is something we can learn from to avoid mistakes as we go, and the future is something we can plan for and work toward making it fruitful, but living – and being present in the moment is the most important thing of all.