Yes indeed – grab every opportunity you get, life is short, live life to the fullest, enjoy every moment.
I recently learnt of the sudden passing of a special friend. It was not a long or intense friendship by any means where we saw each other frequently. But there was a connection, and a mutual interest to make the effort to stay in touch (technology has its benefits). Unfortunately, we did not have opportunities to seize the day, organically, mostly because of the geographical distance between us. No real excuses though - we could have resolved to make an extraordinary effort to touch sides somehow. But life is busy and complex, and whilst there might be desire and good intentions, sometimes things just don’t come together.
My friend and I were remiss in failing to make touching sides a priority. And now it is too late, and I am heart sore. But what neither of us did was shoot ourselves in the foot by failing to keep the connection going, or by not appreciating the other, or by taking the other for granted. Or by taking advantage of the other’s affection. Neither of us ignored the other’s efforts to connect, neither of us did any pull/push stuff – basically, I’m interested in your life but only at my convenience at which point I’ll be in touch, and I will have an expectation that you will be there (where else would you be?). Until then, you sit by the phone, metaphorically, and make sure you’re ready to resume the friendship when I snap my fingers.
When we shoot ourselves in the foot, it’s sort of like burning bridges. But even if the bridges aren’t permanently burnt, more importantly it means that in any given moment in the “now”, we miss hanging out with someone, celebrating an event even if the person who is willing and available isn’t our absolute first choice for that event – it’s better than sitting around licking our wounds. Shooting ourselves in the foot also means others begin to lose patience and empathy with our particular predicament and say, “Oh well, what must I do about it? You had the best of all worlds, you didn’t make an effort to nurture things, and now you are sitting in your four walls when you could be doing something fun and revitalising”.
Many, many years ago, I had a discussion with a colleague and asked him if he thought I should pay the extra whatever it was for something. His words are in the forefront of my mind to this day: “How important is it?” Indeed. How important is it to make an effort with people, how important is it to give as well as to take, how important is it to seize every opportunity to connect with those we deem special in our lives – even when it isn’t overwhelmingly convenient for us.
Seize the day, but at the same time don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
BA; Hons BA (Psy); MA (Psy) (Cum Laude)
© Reproduce freely but retain copyright and author/contact info.
Published on www.all4women.co.za