What is our fascination with having something long term? Do you remember that first material possession that you purchased in life? Maybe it was a car or a house. That smile on your face when you purchased it and thought, I will have this for a long time? Through the years, did you react the same every time you looked at it as time went on? Everything that we have in life is constantly changing, yet we want that sense of security in something constant. We adapt constantly, yet do we realize that some of the best things in life are the ones that give us a smile just temporarily?
I was making my coffee this morning and going through my normal rituals. Take a single origin coffee from a local roaster. Grind it right in between a fine and medium coarse. Boil my 6 oz. of water to 1 tablespoon of coffee, pour the water over the grounds and repeat. Simple steps to making a fantastic cup of coffee. My favorite part about having single origin coffee, is that I might not experience this same roast and flavor ever again in my life. Starbucks and many others have blended coffees together for years now, because they want people to have that same flavor again and again. I actually prefer to constantly have a change!
Think about what the coffee bean experiences before it gets cultivated. Does a banana tree spring up next to it and affect the flavor? Was it hotter this year then before? Was there more rain? Do less animals stop over to fertilize it so it changes the cherry ever so slightly? That’s what makes a terrific cup of coffee. You never know how the coffee will taste and it will never be the same.
Same thing goes for wine, do you think every bottle of wine comes out the same? The barrel might add a difference in flavor to it as it ages. The weather patterns around the grape vine might change, and so on.
These are just a couple of experiences that are temporary in life. There are so many of these experiences that we have that we take for granted. Do you think all children learn to walk at the same time and the same way? Of course, not, there are so many variables that go into this. Would we want to change this in any way for us to know the perfect way to teach them to walk? Of course not! That’s half the fun of even raising children. You look back at who you raised and the experiences that you had while raising them. I’m sure everyone has a unique and silly story somewhere in their line of how they raised their children. That’s what makes us all unique.
Temporary has such a bad taste in so many peoples mouths for some reason. We say, “it’s only temporary” when something bad happens in life. When someone tells us that something is for life, what does that really mean? It’s not possible for anything to be for life. Everything changes. Is a relationship for life? Maybe on paper it could be, but peoples relationships constantly change. If you think that your relationship is just the same as it was 20 years ago when you first got married, you’re only kidding yourself. You’ve learned about each other, you’ve gained insight into habits and reactions. Change is constantly happening in your relationship. That’s good thing!
We have to learn to embrace the temporary feelings that we have every day of our lives. The quicker we all learn that temporary is not a horrible thing, the more content we will be with the life we are living. Think about if you went into every situation in life thinking it was going to be temporary?
Let’s give a scenario:
It’s a typical Sunday for you as you wake up and get out of bed. You go through your usual routines. The coffee maker starts at precisely 8am as you stretch and move to the couch to put on the news. You pour your first cup of coffee for the morning as you sit down and review the various things happening in the world. Your wife gets up and now she goes through her habits. You meet at the couch, maybe give each other a small kiss or bypass each other all together. You continue your day and get your errands done, relax and go to bed as you would every Sunday you have done for the past 20 years.
Now, let’s throw a loop into this one. As you wake up in the morning on Sunday, you find that you have a terminal illness. This could be the very last day you have on earth. Would you react any different to the day? Would you take a bit more time to enjoy your last cup of coffee? Would you take a little bit more time to embrace your wife when she wakes up? I’m going to assume that you would do things a bit differently.
When we finally view things as temporary in life, we start to react to our surroundings much different. We experience things different, we enjoy things a bit more. When we go through the routines of life and don’t take time to consider that things change, we lose sight of the joy we get out of life.
This is all too true when traveling the world. Travel is constantly changing. Many of us don’t get to experience the same place twice in life. If you have one trip to take in your life and you don’t think you’ll ever travel again, where would it be and what would you do? I have traveled Europe and America several times in my life and sometimes I don’t take this into consideration. Do I think I’ll make it back to Germany, or Greece ever again? Maybe, but there are so many things in this world to experience, maybe I won’t. Did I take enough time in each place to experience all it had to offer? Of course I did at times, but maybe not as much as I should have. If I do go back, will it be the same experience that I had the first time? Of course not!
I might create an entire travel guide for people on a city after just one or two times being in the city. I can give details of how I felt during the trip and what top sights I thought were in the area. This might change for someone when they visit these sights. Maybe I saw the site in the early morning with less people, what if they experience it and there are crowds of people around? Does it change their experience of the situation vs mine? Of course it does.
Have you ever heard the term, “stop and smell the roses”? I’m sure most people have, but do we always stop? Take these moments in life and remember that it’s all temporary. The time you see the Eiffel tower lit up at night, the sunrise in Santorini or simply the coffee in the morning with your loved one. Stop and experience it to the fullest. You never know, it might be the only time in life that you get this chance. Temporary is just another term that we need to remind us that we need to stop and smell the roses. Don’t just drive by because that’s what you’ve always done.