Yesterday I got to celebrate the birthday of my favorite guy in the world, my Dad. He’s the man and there is literally nothing he can’t do. I don’t even need a backup person to go to for advice or help because Dad is a one stop shop. We broke out a bottle of Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve whiskey and enjoyed a glass. Anything finely crafted makes you savor the process that it took to create. The whiskey was… delicious. The time spent with my Dad, however, was even more succulent.
Eighteen years. The whiskey in that bottle was at least 18 years old. That means I was around 13 when that whiskey originated. Wow! I was in middle school when the Jameson people started working on that bottle. OJ Simpson was driving around in his white bronco when that whiskey began. I was an awkward nerdy guy with acne and braces when that delicious liquid started. Take a minute and think back eighteen years ago… what were you doing?
More importantly, think of how you have changed in eighteen years. Can you even quantify it? In eighteen years I learned to drive, had my first beer (and my second, and my third…), graduated from college, got a job (and a second, and a third…), got married, bought a house, discovered CrossFit, and became a man. In eighteen years I went from a boy to a man.
However, my life is not a snapshot of today. I am not simply a 31 year old man. I am a summation of the process that made me the man I am today – I am a summary of my life. An 18 year old whiskey is the same – there are layers of complexity to the drink, various aromas that permeate into the nose, different taste notes that tantalize the tongue. The whiskey is not just what’s in the bottle – it is a summation of the maturation process of sitting in oaken barrels for years on end, soaking up all that goodness.
Life. Whiskey. Not as unlike as you might think. It’s all about remembering to savor the process.
Road trips are fun. Well, mostly. Sometimes the actually road part isn’t as fun, like getting stuck in traffic or construction delays. Undoubtedly though, at least one great song will come on the radio. What happens when that song hits your ears? You rock the f*ck out. You sing it at the top of your lungs and dance your little stuck-in-a-carseat ass off. That might be the highlight of your day, that one song with whoever else is in the car with you. It might be the highlight of your trip. Savor the ride.
I don’t have children, but if I did I’m sure they would grow up too quickly. Kids go from crawling around on the floor to running around at their first soccer game to graduating high school. Simply playing with my niece and nephew and seeing them about once a month shows me how quickly they grow up. I swear they are different people each time I see them, continually growing and learning more things. My nephew just turned 5 years old. Seems like only last year he was born. Now he is playing sports and having birthday parties at bowling allies and slinging the ball down the lane! How many diapers do you change until they can go to the bathroom by themselves? How many Christmases do you get while they still believe in Santa Claus? Savor the time.
Many of us begin CrossFit with less than a complete repertoire of movements and skills. We may struggle to even get one pull-up or have muscle ups baffle us for months. But we grow stronger everyday. Our PRs grow as we tally up the weight that we can move and the efficiency with which we can move that weight. Everyday CrossFit beats us down only to have us rise again as a better, stronger, faster version of ourselves. We fail and fail and then we succeed. Savor the challenge.
We listen to music everywhere, all the time. Our headphones go in when we run, mow the lawn, fly in an airplane, or even go on a scenic hike. We sit down to watch a live sporting event and we also play on our phones. We update our Facebook status as we walk to class and we tweet as we are buying groceries. Sometimes our heads our down and our ears are so full that we miss out on what is happening around us. Don’t forget to look around as you travel through this life. Savor the journey.
Each day only happens once. We don’t get a second try at today. Don’t put off until tomorrow what could best be done today. Acknowledge the little things. Perhaps it is a stranger’s smile or maybe the perfect char on a piece of steak? Did you stop and smell the roses? Did you say cheers, clink glasses, and toast to a happy birthday? Savor the moments.
Life is not who we are today. Life is who we are today plus yesterday plus all the yesterdays before that. Life is a journey – a fantastic, cruel, amazing, awful, beautiful journey. Don’t take life for granted. Savor life. Life, like fine whiskey, is best enjoyed in small sips with exquisite company.
Don’t get too caught up in today, in the multi-tasking hustle and bustle of living in 2014. Remember that whiskey began 18 years ago and it needed each and every single day to complete its metamorphosis into the delicious nectar that I enjoyed. Savor the process.