My instinct when I get a gift certificate is to save it for something special. I'm writing today to try to encourage you (and myself) to resist that impulse. Let's enjoy whatever the presents are as soon as we get them.
The photo above shows some of the gift certificates we have in our house, unused. A couple of the establishments have gone out of business since we received these pieces of paper. Others have expired -- one in 2012! Each represents an opportunity lost.
If you're reading this, you survived 2020, and I'm grateful that you did. Didn't we learn a few things from the relentlessness of that year? I learned that even if some things are foreseeable, in the biggest sense, we can't know what the future has in store. There's no upside to saving up our good experiences for later because "later" is unknowable.
Obviously, this enjoy-it-now philosophy applies to more than gift certificates. Our favorite people and places and events also don't come with eternally available guarantees, so here are some other things we should do soon and often:
- Hug our family and friends (if all are vaccinated).
- Eat our favorite foods (in sustainable ways).
- Thank people when they bring joy.
- Take frequent steps towards big-picture goals.
While we can't survive forever dining only on gift certificates and frosting, we can and should enjoy the moments we have now, especially in ways that won't make tomorrow any less of a boon. You know the old saying, if today weren't a gift, we wouldn't call it the present.
What is one thing you can do as a gift for yourself today that won't make tomorrow any less wonderful? Please share your ideas/suggestions in the comments.