The past week has been reflectful for me.
Last Wednesday at my birthday party I put on a ring and disappeared into thin air. The days leading up to this disappearance were charged with emotion. Not the stress of planning; I do well with that stuff. But consider this:
If you had to leave your hometown tomorrow, what would do one last time today?
I made a short list of things to do in Minneapolis before I departed. One item was to play in the fountain with the colored lights in Downtown. It’s a nostalgic activity: years ago, when I first moved there, I did exactly that with a good friend. It was a delightful summer evening of laughter and splashing.
I’d always meant to go back and spend more evenings that way, but never got around to it.
Last week I inadvertently kept that tradition alive. Because of several last minute surprises, I had no time to play in the fountain before departing. My list remains unfinished, and probably always will.
And I’m okay with that.
Reruns and New Episodes
One of the most important things I learned about a life of adventure is that there are no guarantees on long-term plans. “Life of adventure” sounds extreme, but this applies equally to anyone who travels or moves, anyone with a career or love life, and anyone who might die tomorrow.
The fact is, the stuff you’re going to do next week or in three years? That stuff may not happen.
This isn’t just a “live life to the fullest” post though. No seize the day here. (I mean, do seize the day. But that’s 101. I’m talking advanced classes right now.)
Once you’re out there seizing the day, enjoy the day the first time you seize it.
If you’re a human being, when you find something fun you start planning repeat performances. I have to do this again! What if I brought so-and-so here?
Following this pattern, most people collect a relatively small list of favorite places and activities, and confine all of their free time to that list. You have your favorite bar(s), favorite restaurant(s), and certain fun activities you do on certain days of the week or times of the year. And that’s it.
That hinges your happiness on the idea that things don’t change, which is false.
Instead, try treating each experience as a one-time deal. Get out of your head (where the planning is) and live in the actual world (where things happen). If something is beautiful, thrilling, sumptuous, or joyful – love it the first time.
This will make you a happier person.