Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Make today worth remembering...

          Tonight I had the opportunity, along with two very good friends, to attend a play at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, in Cedar City, Utah. The play we chose to attend was Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." The play was superb, the cast talented, and the audience entertained. It was an immensely enjoyable way to spend 3 hours. ($2 for a bottle of water during intermission is stretching things a little, however.)

            In the end, as with all good art, the play got me to thinking.

          As the second act begins, the charming swindler Harold Hill meets the lovely librarian and music teacher Marian Paroo at her home and utters a line that struck a cord with me. Marian, nervous about Harold's proposition that they meet at the footbridge, tries to postpone the meeting until "tomorrow." Harold replies, "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering." This simple phrase reminded me that too often we "put off for tomorrow, what we [should] do today." (Thomas Jefferson).

 "Tomorrow" I'll get started on that book I've been meaning to read. 
"Tomorrow" I'll call/write/email my friend.
"Tomorrow" I'll be kinder.
"Tomorrow" I'll make amends with my neighbor/friend/family member/co-worker.
"Tomorrow" I'll take the time to truly listen to my child/parent.
"Tomorrow" I'll be more patient.
"Tomorrow" I'll get organized.
"Tomorrow" I'll begin that diet/exercise program.
"Tomorrow" I'll take that trip I've always dreamed of.
"Tomorrow" I'll be less shy.
"Tomorrow" I'll be braver.
"Tomorrow" I'll pursue my dreams.

           We humans are creatures of habit. We long for the comfort of the status quo. What we seem to forget is that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow so we better make the most of our opportunities today.
           I've decided that "today"- this moment - I'm going to try to do everything I can to make it worth remembering - no more waiting around until "tomorrow." I don't want to awaken years from now with "a lot of empty yesterdays."

           Perhaps, for me, that means:

- Finally collecting all those poems and stories I've written over the years and trying to see if someone beyond those near and dear sees something of worth in them.

- Taking the satisfaction I find in capturing people, places, moments, and things on film and focus on turning it into something less amateur so that what I capture through the lens is meaningful to others as well as myself.

- Going on a trip now and then to a new place (out of my comfort zone), taking an opportunity for an adventure, no matter how small.

- Sticking my neck out and getting to know people, even when the thought of meeting new people scares me to death. (I can laugh and joke with the best of them, but deep down, I'm a mass of trembling nerves hoping I don't say or do something utterly stupid or embarrassing.)

- Taking a hard look at myself and making changes to who I am, how I act, what I say and do to make me a better person, friend, family member, and coworker.

        I'm sure there is much more I could add to the list, and maybe in the future I will. For now, though, this seems to be a good starting point.

         What about you? How will you make today worth remembering?


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