Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal Posted on 15 Nov 16:13
I never mean to procrastinate. After Tuesday’s post, I promised myself that I would send out heartfelt thank you notes that are, like my teenage daughter’s library books, long overdue. My charming Kate Spade stationary, my Sharpie pen, and my good intentions are sitting in the bottom of my bag that needs cleaning out. (Sigh.)
Today I was reminded to make room for the more important stuff. To be a catalyst for more magical moments, which aren’t necessarily the monumental ones. Magical is different for all us I know, but that’s what makes them...well, magical. Listen, I’m no expert here; my last name isn’t Disney, and I live exactly 644 miles from the happiest place on earth. But I’m acutelyaware of the fact that life is not a dress rehearsal. Today is the only guarantee we get, and even that’s slippery sometimes.
I suppose it’s not enough to tell myself to make room for enchantment. And sadly, I don’t have a magic wand. I’ll probably fumble through the dark a bit on this one. I’m not completely aimless though. I know that gratitude promotes loveliness, so I’ll start there.
William Smart tells the story of a group of men who got talking one day about people who had influenced their lives—people whom they’d stored gratitude for. (I love the idea of safekeeping gratitude in the heart by the way.) One man thought of a high school teacher who had introduced him to Tennyson, both riveting and lyrical. Post-discussion, he decided to write his teacher and thank her.
Some time later, the man received a letter written in feeble scrawl:
“ My Dear Willie, I can’t tell you how much your note meant to me. I am in my 80s living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely and like the last leaf lingering behind. You will be interested to know that I taught school for 50 years and yours is the first note of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a blue, cold morning and it cheered me as nothing has for years.
So little effort to express thanks. So greatly multiplied the effect.” A poignant reminder to make room for the significant, no? It’s time to scrap the wand idea—I’ve got my sharpie ready and I’m not too busy to use it!