Happy New Year everyone!
This year, my New Year’s “Revelations” are based on some of the witticisms and words of wisdom that my mother and father imparted to me.
When I was young, I used to roll my eyes and shake my head at them – not really heeding their words.
Or so I thought.
They’ve since passed, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss them.
Most importantly, their words – often colourful and humorous, but always spot-on – resonate deeply with me today.
I now share them with you.
My mother used to say:
“Life’s too damn short, so make the best of it. We only have one life.”
This, from a Roman Catholic. So I would earnestly ask her the obvious question: “But, what about the Afterlife?” – to which she would immediately quip “When I get there, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, focus on this life.”
And indeed, when I was a child, it was my mother who would occasionally decree her own “snow day.” Rather than going in to school, I would get to stay home and we would spend the day weaving stories, acting out scenes and letting our imaginations soar. My storytelling gene… I get from her.
My mother, who was born in the mid-1920s on the Mediterranean island of Malta, was a bon vivant (loosely translated, this means someone who likes to live well). She enjoyed people, loved to laugh and dance, savored both wine and whisky (not at the same time, mind you), and always had a mischievous twinkle in her eye. When she twitched her lips, you knew she was just about to say something exceedingly irreverent.
She practiced what she preached. She taught me how to celebrate life – in good times, and in bad.
As she said: “We only have one life.” Her theory was that if we live with the promise of tomorrow, then we may neglect to live fully today.
I embrace her philosophy wholeheartedly, as those who know me well will certainly attest.
Several years back, I gave a eulogy for my mother. My last words were: “When my mother entered the gates of heaven, God gave the harpists the day off because he knew that the jazz band had just arrived.”
So, on this first day of what promises to be a glorious new year, let’s plan to make the most of today and every blessed day that follows. Life is a celebration.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
Image via Cyladies.com.