Are you saving something (clothes, a bottle of wine, some fancy dishes, etc.) for a special occasion? Has that occasion ever come? How many special occasions have you had? What really is a special occasion? I think most of us do not even know what a real special occasion is, or at least we don’t realize it until it’s already happened.
Oxford dictionary defines a special occasion as “A particularly noteworthy event, ceremony, social gathering, or celebration“. That covers a lot. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th. That sounds like a special occasion to me being a particularly noteworthy event. I don’t think special occasions are necessarily always happy occasions. Last month, I visited my dad and for at least a few hours, I was in the same house with my dad and my six sisters. It was quite a social gathering and celebration. Definitely a special occasion.
Depending on your religion, there are some dates most people would consider a special occasion like Easter and Christmas. Similarly, depending on where you live days such as the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving would be considered special occasions. Those are obvious ones that many people would come up with if you asked them what their idea of a special occasion was.
Maybe we can come up with some more obscure ones though. What about the day you finish paying off your student loans? They day you pay off that first car or sign the papers to buy your first house? How about the last time you and your spouse sat down for dinner with all of your kids at once? We recently sat all three kids down and watched the movie A Christmas Story with them. They loved it and it was undoubtedly a special occasion.
Here’s my definition of a special occasion: Any time we are alive and experiencing something that we can appreciate, celebrate, or commemorate. If that experience happens with someone you love, then it’s even more special but we should be able to find something special about every day of our lives. Then we should celebrate that by enjoying every day somehow because the next one is never a guarantee.
So, eat off the China and break out the crystal wine glasses because won’t it be a shame if you just stare at those things every day waiting for just the right special occasion to use them and it never comes? It’s only stuff, right?
I have a very special pilsner glass that was given to me when I became godfather for our friends’ daughter. I love it. It has my name and proudly proclaims that I am her godfather. I would probably be heartbroken if it broke, but at the same time it’s just a glass and I refuse to think that it’s just for displaying on the shelf, never to be enjoyed. I use it all the time.
If I die with a bottle of unopened expensive Scotch in my basement, I will consider myself a failure at enjoying life. I want to try it all and learn to appreciate every minute of it. Don’t keep your favorite shirt in the closet because you don’t want to get it dirty. Don’t leave that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle sitting around because you’re waiting for that perfect time to enjoy it.
Those days may never come and it doesn’t matter if they do. Any day that we wake up on the right side of the ground with our mind and body intact can be the best day ever. We just have to learn to appreciate those little occasions and make them special.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2017