"Enjoy Every Sandwich"
When we first retired, we made a point of visting some people and places that we had not seen in over 30 years. In the process of reconnecting with numerous long-lost family members and friends, it was striking how many things that I have forgotten that others have remembered.
In looking back, I believe that I lived a pretty interesting life, but if I lived more mindfully, I would probably realize that I lived a really interesting life. (Of course, my blogging could be really interesting, instead of just pretty interesting, too!!)
It is striking how often I heard or said, “I meant to call you,” or “I thought about you.” What were we doing or thinking that we waited over 30 years to call or visit someone? Of course, for much of this time, we did not have computers or mobile phones or social networks, but that is no excuse.
Now, I reach out to people. On a signature birthday, my daughter, Lauren, collected letters to me from family and friends. I was grateful (and relieved) to see that most people said something like, "You reach out. You stay in touch." That is the kind of frend that I want to be.
Now, when I see my grandchildren, I say, "I enjoy our time together so much. I love to spend time with you. I'm so glad that you're here," so much so that they are probably tired of hearing it. Still, I hope that when I am gone, if they remember one thing, they remember that.
Now, I realize that the quality of time spent is proportionate to the quantity of time spent and that our best memories are often the most commonplace ones -- an expression, an inside joke, a shared memory, the little things that build a meaningful life, one moment at a time.
I think that singer/songwriter Warren Zevon had the last word on mindfulness. When David Letterman asked Zevon how cancer had changed his life, he said, “Enjoy every sandwich.”