Friday, November 11, 2005

Lessons to Live By


This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend.

Dear Friend,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and
mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever
their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours
were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

-- Author Unknown


  1. This reminds me of the guy who talked about his Thousand marbles.
    He was getting on in years, and had stopped one day to think about how many Saturdays he likely had left. Turned out, what with life expectancy, and his age, he had about 1000 Saturdays left. So, he bought a thousand marbles, and filled a jar with them. Every Saturday he'd take one out, which was supposed to remind him to cherish that time, and do something special with his Saturdays, either spending it with his family, or whatever.

    Looking back at that story, it seems kind of morbid to focus on the loss of time, and the impending death, but it's true that if we don't pay attention, those Saturdays just slip away from us.

    Me? I prefer the story about filling a jar with rocks, and sand.
    If you fill the jar with sand, you'll never have space for the larger rocks. If you start with the big rocks, you can always fill in the little spaces with the smaller stuff. The idea, of course, being, Make room (time) for the important things in life first, (the big rocks) because you'll always have room (time) for those less important things. (the sand)

    Heh. This has been your philosophical 30 seconds. :)

  2. I just reread this tonight. What a wonderful approach to life. Thanks A.G.


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