Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What are you waiting for?

As the new year approaches many people make resolutions. They are going to make improvements to themselves; correct faults – real or perceived; to be better in some way or another. Sounds like a lot of work and not a lot of fun. You put on five pounds last July, and you are waiting till now to do something about it? On that list of resolutions you are making, how many items concern problems that have been on-going but you just somehow put off facing them. And you really think NOW you’re going to get it done? If you didn’t do it six months ago, what makes you think you’re going to do it next week? Hope springs eternal.

What else are you procrastinating about? Is having fun on that list? Is pleasure on that list? Reading all these blog posts about resolutions I was delighted to read an article in the NY Times (link below) about how we put off pleasure – save it for later so to speak and all too often later never comes.

Did you get gift cards for Christmas? Have you spent them yet? Have you been able to say to the gift-giver “I used that card you gave me and got some cd’s I was wanting, Thanks” No? You’re saving the card for later, right? Waiting for a really good sale? Till then I guess you’ll just put it in the drawer and, oops, forget about it? Pleasure deferred for the gift-giver, pleasure deferred for you.

The article talks about people who save their frequent flyer miles for that amazing trip to Europe and before they can put it together the miles expired – pleasure deferred and lost.

And what about all those things tucked away in the closet for “special occasions”, what about them? The spiffy earrings, that oh so lux sweater, the drop dead shoes – are they making the closet happy? Why can’t wearing them, because they make you happy, be special occasion enough?

Carpe Diem, indeed. I’m not talking about big things, I’m talking about the small pleasures we deny ourselves every day – sometimes the big picture is too big for the modest size of our dreams and our real lives. It’s not just that gift card that comes with an expiration date, so does today.

I’m not suggesting you cash in what’s left of the 401K and buy a Porsche. I am saying that any day can be a special occasion. That pleasure comes in small packages, in small ways and I’m betting you have more than a few little packets of pleasure tucked away in your “some day” file or in your closet.

If you can’t bring yourself to seize the day, then at least seize the moment.

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