My friend recently told me the story about a lunch he had with another friend of ours. They were getting together at an old stomping ground where we had all had lunch dozens of times before. The circumstances this time were different.
Our friend had terminal cancer, was very weak, and it was clear that this would be their last lunch together. Eating his burger took longer than usual and the waitress seemed to hover a bit. At one point, he still had two small bites left and she approached to take his plate. He slowly and kindly raised his hand giving a clear sign that he was intended to savor every last bite of his last burger.
Which he did.
Years earlier, my friend had given me this advice as my wedding approached. Saying, “Make sure, at least a few times during your reception, you take a step back and look around. You’ll notice that you’re surrounded by all the people who love you. It’s likely to be the only time in your life when so many people you love are in the same room. They are there for you. Make sure you take the time to take it all in.”
I wonder how often I’ve scarfed down a burger, or any meal for that matter, without ever appreciating the taste. Or stood in a room with people I love and not paused to appreciate them and the love they give.
It is the oldest of cliches to say that time flies or that it is our most precious resource. Yet that doesn’t make it any less true.
This is your life. Savor it.