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Make sure you enjoy life’s little moments

There was a tune popular in my youth by the duo Seales and Croft, titled “We May Never Pass This Way Again.” It was sort of a “carpe diem” kind of song — doing good, making the most of life’s journey because each opportunity might be your last.

The older I get, the faster time passes, and the more I realize the need to pause, reflect and appreciate the people, places and special moments in life.

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives. Honestly, I don’t know how some of the young parents out there keep up with all the music lessons, ball practice, play rehearsals, camps, special projects; the seemingly endless stream of school, church and social obligations. Thinking of all that just makes my head hurt a little.

When I was much younger, I was always looking forward to something in my future—my birthday, a family vacation, Christmas, a visit to my mother’s beloved family in Tennessee.

But my attitudes have changed with the years. Don’t get me wrong; I still eagerly anticipate certain future events. But I also realize I was, to a certain extent, wishing and dreaming my life away.

Now I find myself wanting to live more in the moment, in the “now.”

I want to stop and smell the wild roses and pick a few, too. To pause on a clear night and gaze up into the starry canopy above me and marvel at the sheer magnitude of the universe.

To stroke my puppy’s silken ears and cuddle him just a little longer, to spend a little extra time with friends who make me laugh and really, really savor how good that tartly sweet homemade jam is on a hot, flaky biscuit, as I enjoy that illicit thrill forbidden to a type 2 diabetic.

We don’t know how much time any of us have on this earth. Things can change in a mere blink of an eye. Tragedy can strike.

Life happens.

My sweet grandmother used to receive these beautiful peignoirs, all embroidered satin and lace, as gifts. But she’d never wear them. “I’ll save that for later,” she’d say.

I think the very first time I ever saw her in one of those fancy nightgowns was in her coffin. She looked pretty. But how much better it would have been to see her in life, sitting in front of her dresser mirror, brushing through her waterfall of silver-streaked dark hair, smiling shyly at her reflection as she admired her beautiful attire.

Just the thought makes me smile.

Enjoy the moments. The small, simple, quiet moments, the ones which may never come again. Share a smile, be generous, do good. Give hugs. Be grateful.

In the end, you will have far fewer regrets.