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Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding the Special in Every Day

A friend in California sent me an e-mail recently that included the message below.

Life is short, so break the rules.
Forgive quickly.
Kiss slowly.
Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably.
And never regret anything that made you smile.

Great advice, don't you think? I'm not so sure about the 'break the rules' part, but it's OK to break our personal rules (often known as 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts'). Rules that are unjust or oppressive need to be challenged, of course. And it's good to break out of our shells and try new things. So I guess it depends on which 'rules' we're talking about.

I have to admit that I don't do most of the things on this list, but I am increasingly aware of the shortness of life. Some days, when I'm busy just doing 'things' that need to be done (grocery shopping, filling up the gas tank, waiting for a repair guy to show up), I regret that I didn't do anything special that day. I regret the missed opportunities to go hiking or take photographs or explore a new place.

Most of the time, of course, there is nothing memorable about any given day. I think of another day of my life gone for good, and to what end? But then I sometimes think that there really was something special about that day, after all. I fixed dinner for my daughter, or I appreciated the fact that she confided in me about something. Maybe we went shopping (not one of my favorite activities) and laughed so hard in the fitting room that I had tears in my eyes. Or maybe I just enjoyed a sunny day and some good exercise. While mundane, those things are special, too.

Not every day can be filled with excitement or something new. But every day can be special if we but make it so.