There is a bottle of perfume sitting on my dresser that I was given when I was ten years old! As you can tell I have pack rat tendencies! For me that pattern started as a young child. I could never bear to throw things away. There was more to it than not wanting to throw things away. I loved the feeling I had when I would receive something new, and would not want to spoil it by using it unless it was for something special. I would want to save it for a special occasion. A new dress would sit in the closet, until a special event to wear it. Perfume would sit on my dresser, not to be used for everyday, but for a special ‘something’. This was a pattern in my life for many years.
Perhaps, however, this is not the best perspective to view life. It is reminiscent of the woman on the Titanic, who when was being lowered into the lifeboat said…"If I’d known this was going to happen I would have had that Chocolate Mousse dessert. " It is a view of life that speaks a lie. The belief is that if I enjoy something now, I won’t be able to look forward to anything good like that in the future. This belief steals the joy from living in the present, and also lies about what the future might hold. Often it takes sad or traumatic situation to cause a person to stop and take stock their life’s perspective and lifestyle. For example, let me tell you how it happened for Ruth.
One day, out of the blue, Ruth got one of those devastating ‘phone calls’ that we all dread receiving. Her sister Jane had passed away unexpectedly. Ruth went over to the home to help her brother in law with the sad task of preparation for the funeral. They were in the bedroom deciding on clothes Jane would wear as she was laid to rest. He pulled out of the drawer some beautiful lingerie wrapped in tissue. Ruth gasped as she saw the astronomical cost on the price tag. “Jane bought this in Paris 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. I guess this is it. " he said. It was exquisitely, handmade in silk, with a delicate cobweb of lace . As he slammed the drawer shut he said something that changed Ruth’s life for ever. “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion!
After the funeral, Ruth began to evaluate her life from a different perspective. She began to see life as something to be enjoyed not endured. Ruth started to make changes, although small at first, for Ruth they had great significance. She sat in the garden more and didn’t worry about the weeds. She wore expensive perfume on ordinary days, after all co workers and cashiers have noses that function just as well as party goers! She lit that candle that had been sitting as a centre piece on the dining room table collecting dust. She got that cracked window fixed, that she’d been meaning to do for years. She invited those friends round for dinner that she’d seen at the last sixteen weddings, and said we must get together.
Ruth determined that she would live each day as if it was her last. Now every morning when Ruth opens her eyes, she tells herself that this day is special. Every day, every breath, every minute of her life is truly a gift from God.
Your life perspective changes when you start living each day as if it was your last. You start to look at all the things that you want to accomplish in life and actually get started!! You stop watching everyone else doing it. Have the courage to start thinking “It’s my turn now" and do what is in your heart.
Grandma Moses began a painting career at age seventy six. Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969 at age seventy one. Lucy is in her eighties and has in the last two years, been white-water rafting, and hiking in the Himalayas. She is excitedly planning her next trip!
Don’t wait years, or until something traumatic happens to get your attention. Start now to reflect on your life’s perspective and begin living without regrets.
Peter Sage, speaker and entrepreneur said:
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow - What a Ride!"
Barbara White is President of Beyond Better Development, which is dedicated to empower people towards excellence in their personal and professional development. The Living Beyond Better website has more self improvement resources