Yesterday, while loading the dryer, I thought about what to serve for dinner when our good friends, Bob and Melissa, showed up later in the day. I always enjoy when they visit because we hang out, catch up on our lives, and eventually dive into deep conversations about the things that really matter.
I need to do some shopping, I thought to myself as I removed the wet clothes from the washing machine. I have to pick up vegetables, some kind of dessert, and I want to remember to get wine.
That’s when I thought about the only bottle of wine sitting in the small fridge in our pantry. It was a fairly expensive gift to myself more than eight years ago, and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion ever since.
What if hanging out with your closest friends is a special occasion, I told myself as I stared out the window at the muted sun sinking below the trees. How long are you going to wait for a worthy event?
Ever since we lost our cat, Poupon, I’ve been nursing a broken heart. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss his human-like talking, his gentle paws kneading my belly, or the way he’d sit motionless at my office door, staring at the birds.
If you’ve been blessed to experience a soul mate connection with an animal, you know exactly what I mean.
Animals have so much to teach us while they’re alive, and I’m learning that the lessons continue long after their bodies are gone.
Here’s what Poupon’s death has taught me so far:
I can’t control life.
I can’t prevent heartache.
I can’t predict when loss will occur.
To love is the greatest risk of all.
And the only life we really have is right here in this moment.
So I went downstairs and opened the damn bottle of wine I’d been holding on to for years. I removed the foil, pulled out the cork, and left it to breathe.
This is the wisdom of midlife, I told myself as I went back to finish the laundry. Stop waiting to live your life. Now is the only guarantee we have. Celebrate everything.
I’d say that’s a special occasion, wouldn’t you?
P.S. – Order “Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife,” here.
P.S.S. – This week’s Facebook Live session will be held on Tuesday at 6pm EST/3pm PST. You can join me on my Facebook Page here. And you can watch previous sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
P.S.S.S. – I’ll be at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH on Thursday, February 22nd. You can get more info here.
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