"Stop and smell the roses" was a popular saying long before the mindfulness of yoga became institutionalized in the US. It's something that many of us know, but for me, having the intention to do something later in time has been a tricky lesson for me that required some heartbreak in order to break it apart.
My family often delayed their greatest pleasures for the time of retirement, focusing their energy on working hard, saving money, and often, pleasure for that golden time. I believe my family's discipline is common.
What shattered that unquestioned path was my hardworking, smart brother's stroke at 35, leaving him in a coma for 5 years before leaving this world, many decades before his plans to enjoy his retirement. My mom and dad looked forward to traveling together in their humble camper as soon as they retired, only for my mom to fall ill in a forced retirement that kept her close to home, passing away a few years later. Alone, my dad had no desire to explore the world without his beloved partner and stayed inside the house, with the enjoyment for a solitary life slipping away in Alzheimer's cruel hands, wringing out every last ounce of dignity.
So, I have adopted the practice of savoring golden moments of pleasure, in small bits, every month. It's like, why save the good china only for holidays? Why wear the cashmere apparel only for special occasions? Also, why wait to tell co-workers how much I appreciate all that they give me until the last day in the office? Why can't I show them today and everyday? Why not hug the darling parking garage security guard who starts my day off right with her heartfelt smile?
I do not find benefit in withholding my pleasure, my experience of life, my love or gratitude for someday in the future, some day that I may not have. Unless I'm making potpourri, I want to enjoy the beauty of the bloom now, regardless of how quickly it will soon whither.
I know too well that we only have Now, that life is more fragile than my awareness can fathom, so why not enjoy life now? No postponement.
I don't mean to say that I squander my resources because I hope to live my full years, but rather to live each one fully.
I hope also you don't save the best things in life for some artificial moment in the future but relish them fully now because you fully deserve to do so.
I loved: The Good China and Other Nice Things You Don't Use. Dawn Falcone, July 8, 2015, The Huffington Post