I’ve decided my new favorite word is “savor.”
It’s something that I need to do more often, and that a huge chunk of people barely do at all. I know my dad didn’t.
It will soon be two years since Dad died. He didn’t like living, or anyone, towards the end. He shoved his closest family away and then died, alone. He didn’t appreciate what he had, everything he had… a feast of riches, right in front of him, because maybe… just maybe… he didn’t think he deserved it.
One of sayings I often repeat is that I like to learn from the mistakes of other people, instead of my own. One of the biggest mistakes that my dad made was he poisoned his palette and his brilliant mind with booze and cigarettes, killing off all the neurons and lobes that allowed him to appreciate moments… and the people who were part of them.
Don’t be like my Dad.
Take pictures. Smile. Laugh. Pay attention.
There is a great zen concept called sati or “mindfulness.” It is about being in the moment, being aware of what you are doing and focusing your whole self on that one thing. It’s about being conscious, about being aware. And it’s about savoring.
The late, great musician Warren Zevon (whose work I greatly admire), was asked by David Letterman, just before he died, what advice he would give people about life. His answer was simple: “Enjoy every sandwich.”
Because, maybe sooner than you know it, you won’t be able to anymore.