Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Don’t put the cart before the horse. If your childhood and early life were anything like mine, you heard warnings like these associated with doing kindnesses to or for yourself. Now that I find myself thinking about the life behind and in front of me, I am beginning to wonder whether or not there was any wisdom in these words of wisdom.

Somewhere and somehow, we have found new and creative ways to deprive ourselves of those events or items that would improve and enhance our lives. It may be that we are saving for the future. Or it may be that we consider this or this or this an unjustifiable extravagance. At this point, I’m over it and I am ready to live each day as the only opportunity I have to maximize my enjoyment.

Here’s a small but representative example. For the past x years, I have been using a particular product as part of my daily hair routine. Recently (6 months?) I have found that the compound makes me sneeze as part of my overall battle with allergies. Up until yesterday, I continued to use this junk because I didn’t want to waste the $8 or $10 that I had spent on it. Pitiful. In a flash of I don’t know what, I poured out the stuff and recycled its container.

My friendly recommendation (notice, I make no attempts toward wisdom) is that you do what makes you happy and relaxed and fulfilled and toss the stuff that is reminiscent of outdated messages. If you’ve written a poem but haven’t entered a poetry writing contest for fear that you might win, submit it. And if you’ve been using the last inch or half inch of something that you really don’t like because you can’t bear the thought of tossing something that you haven’t finished, toss it. If a brand new pair of shoes would make you and your feet happy and you can afford them, buy them.

Today is the only reality that is for certain. We owe it to every day that preceded it and every day that may not follow it to do what is beneficial or fun. It’s time to be whatever you are and want to be, while you still have the chance. Then pat yourself on the back. Shalom.

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