“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The first part of this quote is my philosophy for getting all the enjoyment I can out of life. I try never to pass up an opportunity to enjoy myself, because as we all know, there are many times in life that we will have to endure. Loss, illness, disappointment, and rejection, are all part of our journey, making it all the more important to enjoy when you can.
I wrote earlier about making the positive choice, which I do most of the time. It is worth repeating, as life is shorter than we realize and there are so many opportunities to live, laugh, and enjoy. So many people get caught up in career and family and put enjoyment off until later. Sadly for some, later never comes. I listen closely when an elder person, nearing the end of their life talks with regret of missed adventures and put-off experiences.
My mother-in-law died of cancer at a relatively young age. I had always admired her spotless and well-organized home, her perfectly tailored wardrobe, and her homemade meals. I aspired to be like her. However, after she realized her life was ending, she confided in me that she wished she had not spent so much of her time cleaning house and cooking. Too late she realized she had missed so much of the pleasure of living and would never get the time she spent dusting and scrubbing back.
If someone calls with an invitation on laundry or house-cleaning day, I remember my mother-in-law’s words and put my chores aside and take the opportunity to live. And when tragedy or disappointment happens, I endure with as much strength and grace as I can and allow myself the time to recover and heal.
When times are good we should get all of the enjoyment out of life that we can since we never know when a bad time may come. I will end here as my son has invited me out to lunch, and guess what? I’m going!