It is the second week of January and I am being very mindful of time. Why? Because over the last few years time has really gone by way faster than I would have wanted, so this year I am committed to make very good use of time.
So just when I think that I am staying on top of things and being mindful life finds a way to continue to gift me with its teachings.
Here is the story: On Sunday afternoon I decided to go to Ikea to get something that I need for my business. I also decided that it was finally time for me to wear the lovely tennis shoes that I bought more than a decade ago, and that I never wore because they were too cute to wear, and I was saving them for a special occasion.
Well that day I decided that it was time for me to wear them and I really felt compelled to do so, so I wore them. As I was walking in Ikea and falling in love with everything in the store all of a sudden I felt something uncomfortable at the sole of the right side shoe. At first I thought that maybe something had stuck to the sole that was not allowing me to walk comfortably.
Therefore I looked to see what had stuck to my shoe, but what I found was actually something very surprising to me and unexpected. Nothing had stuck to the bottom of my shoe, but instead the sole of my right tennis shoe had come off. What? How could that be? These shoes are practically brand new since I have only wore them around 3x since I got them.
Yes I bought them eons ago, but in my mind they are new because I never wore them other than those 3x. They also have been the tennis shoes that have been most costly, the ones that I have paid more money for, and they are tennis shoes from a popular brand. So how can this be? Why is this happening when I finally decide to wear them?
I realized that this was not something tragic but it was still disappointing for me. Well first things first. When this happened the first thing that I had to do was find a way in which I could continue to walk comfortably, so I did that. Then I went to my car where I had an extra pair of old worn tennis shoes, yet durable, that I use for hiking and then I changed my shoes.
Nonetheless since I am someone who is always thinking, wondering, observing, and analyzing this incident couldn’t just be that, and incident. It had to be something more profound and it sure was. Automatically the first thing that came to my mind when the “disaster” occurred is the following thought: Oh no, now I am not going to be able to wear them and enjoy them! I should have worn them before.
It hit me that this is not the first time that I save something for a special occasion and that when I finally decide okay I am now going to wear this, for one reason or another I no longer can.
This incident also reminded me of author Richard Wright’s Memoir: Black Boy. In Black Boy he talks about how they were very poor and they rarely had meat.
On one occasion he was very happy and excited because that day they happened to have meat, only to find out a few minutes later that his mother was saving it for a guest that they were having, and, therefore his brother and him were going to have to go another day without meat (please note that during those days people were meat eaters, and being a vegetarian or vegan if it for any reason existed I am sure that it was something rare).
So what did I learn from this incident?
•I learned to no longer save things for a special occasion. Every day is and can be a special occasion. What can be more special than the chance to open our eyes for another day? Tomorrow may be too late or it may no longer be the right time.
•The story of Richard Wright reminded me of how important it is to make ourselves a priority. Yes I love treating guest as if they are VIP because to me they are, and if you are like me, great. However, we need to start with ourselves first. Make yourself a priority. Don’t wait to have guests to put your best china out, or your best hand towels out. Do that for yourself.
•Live in the present as the present is truly a gift. Some people live in the past and carry with them a heavy load that greatly interferes with having the life they deserve, and other people live in the future planning for when things are “better,” but rarely does anyone live in the present. What does living in the present mean? Living in the present mean that you are not going to wait to lose those 20 lbs. to finally care about your appearance. It means that you are not going to wait until you are no longer single to finally begin to enjoy your life. It means that you are not going to wait until your business sky rockets for you to begin to appreciate the journey that is taking you there. It means that you are not going to wait to feel financially secured to go on that trip that you have always wanted to go. You are going to find a way to create the money to do it in the present!
The teaching is simple, but so important. Do not save things for special occasions, enjoy things today, and make yourself a priority.
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