The Best Advice

I am a blessed person. I have been lucky enough in my life to be surrounded by brilliant, amazing people, who inspire me every day. Sometimes they inspire me just with the way they live, the kindness they share with me, and other times, they give advice that takes root in my heart, and they live on as a small voice inside my head, reminding me how extraordinary life truly is.

My Great Aunt Peri was a petite woman who loved her family fiercely. She kept an impeccable home, and was one of the most genuinely kind people I’ve ever known. She was a real class act, and is the face I see when I think about what it means to be a Lady. She also gave me what turned out to be one of the most profound pieces of advice I’ve ever received. I think she’d like it that I’m sharing it with you now (and is maybe chilling in Heaven wondering what took me so long. She was big on sharing).

I wish I could remember it better, but it’s one of those moments that the significance only settles on you later, when it’s lived in your bones a while. I was probably around 12, and Aunt Peri and I were in the car alone, driving into town.  I was chattering on and on as I’ve always been wont to do with a captive audience. She had a way of listening to whatever I said intently, like my 12 year old thoughts were just as important as anything an adult had to say. I must have been talking about what I was doing on the weekend, and the weekend after that one, and so on, because I remember her turning to me, and saying in her matter-of-fact way,

“You know, Spring, there are many more weekdays in your life than weekends. It’s important to make them all count.”

That’s it. Bells didn’t go off, I didn’t yell “A-HA!” I don’t even remember what we talked about next. But over and over in my life, I’ve found myself worn down, in front of different televisions, different homes, with different worries, and thinking about how I just can’t wait for the weekend. Thinking about how if I can just make it through another Friday, I’ll be on MY time, and everything will be better.

Then I hear her voice in my head, and I feel foolish. It’s all MY time. Why am I hoping for those hours, even entire days of my life to rush by, to put off happiness and enjoyment until 2.5 small days just because we call them the Weekend, and claim them as something special? Why in the world do we squander so many moments under such a silly premise?

We put off being happy for so many other reasons, don’t we? I’ll be happy when I lose weight. I’ll be happy when I buy a house. I’ll be happy when I pay all my bills off. I’ll be happy when I get this job, or that partner, or this other thing… Over and over, right? Except we all deserve to be happy now. Now is all we have, when we get down to it, isn’t it? It really shouldn’t matter whether right now is 7pm Saturday night at the best party ever with your BFF, or a quiet Tuesday at 2pm in the middle of your workday. Both those moments are the perfect opportunity to smile and savor the beautiful now we are given every time we continue to draw breath.

There are 168 hours in a week. We call maybe 54 of those our weekend. That means, if we spent our time waiting for the weekend, that is roughly 68% of our lives that we’re discarding. Over half our lives declared as somehow less valuable, waiting for what?

Be happy now, friends. Right now. You deserve it. Make it all count.

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