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Don't wish away today

"I can't wait for..."

"I wish I were 20 again..."

"I wish spring (tomorrow, next week) would come..."

Common expressions, but all based on another day, not today, not this minute, not right now. And, really, this minute, this right now, is all we have.

I have a good friend who knows that. He lives each minute to the full. When he dies, I doubt he'll have anything to regret, because he has enjoyed-and is still enjoying-each hour as it comes his way.

I saw him at age 25 esconced at a tea party for very old ladies, flirting left and right, making the 'girls' laugh and having, to all appearances, the time of his life as he served them their tea and cake. In the next hour, he was hanging out with guys his own age and seemingly loving every roughhousing minute of it. And with me, at that time in my 40s, he would take impromptu ferry boat rides, tramp into the woods to cut a Christmas tree or force me to take death-defying bicycle rides in the pitch black darkness of midnight.

It was this friend who taught me to enjoy the moment because it is all we have.

He taught me not to wish away my life. He taught me to appreciate each minute as if it is a gift wrapped up specially for us-whether it's a cold wind chilling us to the bone or a warm breeze off the ocean on the best day in summer. He taught me not to 'wait until tomorrow' because for some of us 'tomorrow' may never come.

I have tried, but I admit I am not as versatile as he.

While I am almost always able to find something to enjoy about whatever comes my way, wherever I am, whenever it is, I do find myself bored in old lady circles if the talk centers on their aches and ailments, but I try to remind myself to be patient because, after all, I'm sure their conversation would be more scintillating if there were a young man present to flirt with them and make them laugh.

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