Friday, August 29, 2014

Special Enough

I have a bottle of wine I've been saving for a special occasion.  It was given to me a few years ago by a friend when he moved away far from here.  I always thought it would be nice to bring this out to celebrate some big event, some milestone, some really special occasion.  I even imagined opening it when he returned sometime for a visit, when we could share a glass or two and catch up.  But that never happened.  Well, nothing celebratory enough for that bottle has happened.  Oh, I know, I finished the remodel -- that might have been the moment.  But it overlapped with my dad getting sick and it didn't feel like a celebration time.

The other day I saw a quote from someone that said, "Don't save anything for a special occasion."  I immediately thought of the Erma Bombeck quote entitled "If I Had My Life To Live Over."  I won't quote the whole thing here; it's long.  But the point is well made in a single statement:
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose
before it melted in storage.
Sometimes we imagine something really momentous is just ahead.  Something we've been waiting a long time for.  We put things in cupboards and drawers just awaiting that day.  We'll really celebrate when that day comes, won't we?  And when we look in the cupboard for something else and see that bottle of wine still there that we've been saving for a special occasion, we feel a little sad.  Nothing big enough or important enough has come along to warrant opening that bottle.  How dismal life feels at that moment.

How easily we set ourselves up for disappointment through vague expectations.  Jeez, we could at least have a concrete goal with a definite finish line.  It must be a problem with a lot of women because the Bombeck quote has been ruefully shared over and over again since it was first written in 1979.

So last night I thought to myself, "This is as good as it's going to get, and you'd better drink that wine now while it's good."  And I opened the wine.  A lovely red.  And let it breathe for awhile before pouring a glass.  And then I toasted myself and my friend who gave me the wine, and slowly sipped and savored its loveliness.  Just one glass.  I'll have another tonight and each night until the bottle is finished.

And thus I acknowledge that it's time for me to begin living more in the moment.  The past few years have held more lows than highs.  It's a time of life when things don't necessarily balance out.  So, if I'm alive today, it's a good day.  That's a special enough occasion to open a saved bottle of wine and light that sculpted candle.  Special enough.