“People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer and all life for happiness” is a thought that really holds so much truth if you look at how most of us live our lives. Let’s take a single week for example and compare how we think about Monday versus Friday. If we look in nature or from a grand scale, there is absolutely no difference in those two days. But we’ve just started to associate the “bad” with Mondays and the “good” with Fridays.
Maybe it has something to do with each individual meaninglessness of his Mondays and the weekend expectations on Fridays. But of course we don’t want to admit that the work we do throughout the whole week is meaningless, so we just “blame the Mondays.” Each day of the week hasn’t got the slightest inclination towards good or bad. We give days, weeks, months and our whole experiences those adjectives.
What about vacations? We sometimes spend more time researching and planning for a holiday than actually being on holiday. We read about every possible sightseeing, we explore every possible means to get there and we think of every way to extend it. Are we looking for a relaxing holiday or an escape plan? It is mind-boggling how some people plan their holiday to the tiniest detail but are completely indifferent to the rest of the year. How much and how quickly would their life transform if they would plan it like their vacation I wonder.
But it’s not always escape people are after. Many people just structure their life in such a fragmented way. The problem is we think we have time. Therefore we arrange to do certain things today and others tomorrow. “Today I will go to work and earn a lot of money. Tomorrow I will focus on my family, my well-being and all the things I really want to do in my life.” But all too late we come to the realization that tomorrow never comes. We always remain only in today. People who allocate their time and resources like that never do certain things they have always wanted to do.
No matter how we look at it, one day is a small part of the whole week and two weeks are an even smaller part of the whole year. Can we really allow ourselves to live for not much more than one day a week and two weeks a year? When we give too much importance to things that happen rarely and perceive them as special compared to the rest we start to look down on and neglect the rest.
The truth is we give meaning to things. So we decide what is special and what is not special. An ordinary thing can easily become special if we only decide so. Drinking coffee at home every morning can be just as special as being in a luxury resort a few thousand miles away. How much money something costs or how rarely it comes around does not make it special. What makes it special is the quality we bring to it. Do we see that coffee as a gift we give ourselves every morning or do we just see it as a drug to wake us up for the work we don’t want to do?
Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes.” So in order to make ordinary moments special we first have to recognise they can be special and then bring our complete undivided attention to them.