heatherfromthegrove’s New Year’s Revelation No 1 of 7: “Life’s Too Short”

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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.

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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.”

~ Denis Waitley

Image via Cyladies.com.

New Year’s Revelation No. 1 of 7: Today is Tomorrow

 “Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.”

― Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 

So let’s make it count.

Happy New Year, everyone!  It’s a brand new day, day one (of 365)! We’ve pressed the “Refresh” button and now we can begin a new chapter in our lives ― with fresh perspective, good intentions, and positive energy.

There are three basic ways to approach the New Year:

1.  Let the chips fall where they may.

Make no resolutions, no plans.  Just wing it.  See what life brings.  Be reactive, not proactive.  Deal with problems, as they arise.  Live in the moment. Don’t think about tomorrow (or that tomorrow, “tomorrow” will actually be “today”).

2. Micromanage yourself, your time, your life.

Make resolutions, with the intention of keeping them.  Plan every month, every week, every day of your year (because, of course, everything is set in stone and nothing or no one will thwart your plans).

3. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst and, take time to enjoy your life.

Resolve to learn from past mistakes.  Draw strength and confidence from past triumphs. Make a plan, but keep it flexible.  Life has a way of upsetting the apple cart, so be prepared to make some contingency plans (usually referred to as Plan B)… just in case.  You’ll fare much better if you are proactive, rather than reactive. Above all, leave time (each and every day) to savour your life and those around you. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m  taking approach #3.  

Best of success to each and every one of you!

Now, it’s time to begin.

Cheers,

heatherfromthegrove

(Photo credit:  via weheartit.com, by Samara Freire)