“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
– Omar Khayyám
This is the gentle tap on your shoulder reminding you that your life is happening.
We get so caught up in wishing for our next vacation, our next happy hour or our next promotion that we forget our lives are happening while we are wishing them away.
We rush through that latte or glass of wine so we can order another. We rush from Monday through Thursday so that we can celebrate again on Friday. We rush through the verse so we can get to the chorus. We often blow through moments the same way we shuffle through a deck of cards – just rushing to get to the game.
The finale is always over so fast, though. And, we then begin to chase yet another.
But, life is not solely about the fireworks. How easily we forget that every second of planning and anticipating for something offers the same degree of beauty, love and magic as does the pinnacle of its completion.
Transformation Doesn’t Happen at the Top; It Happens During the Climb
Several years ago, I visited the Mayan ruins in Belize. It was an enlightening glimpse into a piece of history and, therefore, a transcendental three hours of my life. Monkeys swung from tree to tree above our heads as our we ventured through the jungle – wiping the sweat from our brows and saturating one another with insect repellant.
At the end of our exploration, we came to an ancient Mayan temple. Every individual participating in the tour was given the opportunity to climb to the top of it. I had spent the majority of that day anxiously awaiting the opportunity and, therefore, agreed without hesitation.
Every fragment of a moment gave birth to beauty, love and magic – from the beginning of the climb to the beholding of the picturesque view at the height of its completion. I experienced somewhat of an internal transformation at that place of ruin, but it did not occur at the top. No. Rather, it happened reach-by-reach. It happened while engaged in the climb.
Our lives can be viewed similarly. Every brick we lay and every step we take is an opportunity to live more richly. We must celebrate through the process. We must be in love with every bite of food, sip of wine, stroke of paint, turn of the page, blow of the balloon, dash of salt and stir of the spoon.
The process of achieving a thing is when we are most alive – when we are in a state of desire, dreaming, creating, scheming and longing. The “I can’t wait for…” is equally as significant as the “Guys, we have arrived.” There is magic interwoven through the progress; not merely in the state of the thing’s completion.
We’ve got to understand that saying, “I’ll be happy when I…” or “My life will begin when…” are illusions we are blinding ourselves with. We will never attain that glittering “someday” no matter how seductive it may sound. Our desire is the energy of our soul. It is a thirst that can never be quenched, a fire that can never be extinguished and a longing that can never be pacified.
And, truly? You wouldn’t want it to. It’s just too much fun, isn’t it?
There Is Magic in the State of Anticipation, for It Is Then That We are the Most Alive.
Below are a mere few of my favorite examples of why (although I challenge you to concoct a list of your own).
1) The sound of popcorn popping.
2) The whistle of the tea pot.
4) Holding the book in your hands that you’ve been waiting all month to be released.
5) Selecting wood for the fire.
6) The sound of the water filling the bath tub.
7) The sight of your grandma putting the pie into the oven.
8) Firing up the grill.
9) Tying up your shoelaces to prepare for the race.
10) The sound of coffee beans grinding and, moments later, the smell of them brewing.
12) When summer’s seemingly endless days begin to shorten and a gentle breeze rolls through, reminding you that fall is on its way.
13) Slipping on that wedding dress, then turning to your best friend and proclaiming, “This is the one. This is it.”
15) Seeing your server round the corner, making a beeline for your table.
16) Placing the cherry atop your sundae.
17) Striking the match to light your favorite scented candle.
18) Boarding the plan for your long-awaited vacation.
19) Musing over themes for the big party.
20) The sound of the champagne cork popping.
21) The text message informing you that he or she is on their way.
I hope you will allow this to be a reminder that the moments of anticipation are the ones you will one day long to remember most. There is pleasure in the placing of the cherry atop your sundae just as there is in the moment you devour it. So relish every spark of enchantment throughout the dress rehearsal; don’t wait for the grand finale when the curtain closes on opening night. Because then its almost over.
The anticipation is the magic of your life. Every moment. Every tiny, insignificant offering of surprise and delight. Be in love with it.