Have you ever experienced an “ah ha” moment in your life? One of those moments when all things in the universe suddenly make sense? I had one such moment when I turned forty. I started to look at my life in a way I hadn’t in the past. I suddenly realized that a large portion of my life was behind me, and it was very, very important how I spent the next forty years. I started to honestly evaluate every area of my life, relationships, finances, education and many other areas. I didn’t get far into the process before I realized that over time, I had developed a very bad habit. I had formed the habit of putting off until tomorrow what I could have enjoyed today.
I had never considered this a particularly bad thing. I was attempting to be wise and forgo immediate gratification for a potentially better outcome later. The problem, I realized is that “later” didn’t come in some areas of my life, and I had missed out on so many opportunities to do things I would have enjoyed.
Life has a way of slipping by. Days turn in to weeks, months and years. Before we know it, we are looking back wondering where it all went. I have realized something very profound, yet incredibly simple. Life is not a dress rehearsal. It is the stage that we live upon. We only get one performance, and our time will pass. How sad if we spend our entire lives putting off until tomorrow what we could enjoy today.
Today, make the time to enjoy some small thing that you may have passed up yesterday. Something as simple as drinking your coffee on the deck while listening to the birds sing may fill your heart with joy. Take the time to take a deep cleansing breath in, and just be thankful for life itself. Laugh more. Dance in the kitchen with your loved ones. Tickle your children. Play, even though you’re all grown up.
When you wake up tomorrow morning and your feet touch the floor, remember that you are trading a day of this precious thing called life for whatever you fill your day with. Make it worth the trade. Life is not a dress rehearsal!