Wake Up & Live -- Isn't That What It's All About?

With all of the wonderful clichés and platitudes that I can possibly throw at you like, "Life's too short," "Enjoy the moment," or even, "Now is the only time you have," -- it's become more of an empty mantra than it is an actual practice. We seem to plaster them up all over our Facebook walls and Twitter accounts, and most have yet to even use the advice that was given. I remember my wife had her parents over for dinner. I cooked a nice dinner and we were enjoying our conversation afterwards on the couch. I had placed all the dishes back into the kitchen and then headed back into the living area to chitchat over wine. Madelene decided to go back into the kitchen to wash the dishes and then come back out to talk with her parents, who she rarely sees. I took notice because her absence was felt, so I took it upon myself to walk inside the kitchen area and said, "The dishes can wait. Your parents are leaving soon. Talk to them." It was at that moment when Mad just gave me this look like, "You know what -- you're absolutely right!" She threw down her dish towel and headed back in to enjoy their company.

But isn't that what it's all about?

I'm not saying to neglect things that need to be done, but check your priorities sometimes. If I'm cooking and I have guests over, I usually ask them if they can hang out in the kitchen with me with so I can enjoy them. It doesn't have to be so complicated. I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday about enjoying the moment with your loved ones. She and I discussed many instances where we both found ourselves wondering where our priorities truly were. For example: I'd rather buy $200 worth of food for a BBQ or dinner with friends and family as opposed to running out to the mall to and getting a pair of $200 boots. For me, I am buying quality time -- it's not the food so much -- it's the enjoyment of family and friends. People ask me why I post so many food and cooking pics up -- and that's mostly due to my cooking blog and my love for cooking -- but the event itself is more important. It's the people who ate my food. Food brings people together. While growing up in an Italian household, everyone would be gathered around the table for a 2pm Sunday afternoon traditional dinner. My mom did that out of love.

And isn't that what it's all about?
My Sundays are everything. My wife works long hours and sometimes the entire weekend. So when we have a Sunday off, she's constantly on the go-go-go-get-this-done-now type of person. She never stops. So last weekend I said, "Don't worry about the light installation in the kitchen today or the junk that has to be removed outside. Let's just go to the farm market and take the dog to the park and try a new restaurant." We ended up having an amazing day because she dropped everything to create new memories with me. And I still have yet to call that junk removal guy -- but it'll get done. It's not about procrastinating to the point of neglect, but to not procrastinate on living your life. Huge difference. Sometimes we forget that there is so much out there while we're dusting off our furniture or organizing our cabinets. "Well, somebody's gotta do it," -- but somebody has to live their life too. Balance.

Isn't that what it's all about?

If we're so out of balance that we can't even enjoy moments with our loved ones, most likely depression will set in and it'll appear as a must "to do" list every single week. Whatever you do on a regular basis becomes your routine. Routines can always be broken, if the will is there. I said to my wife once, "I don't want to be sitting in the same chairs out on that same deck in our golden years saying, 'Yeah, we shoulda' did more while we still young had more energy.'" I don't ever want to regret life or living it the way I want to. And another thing to point out is -- if you hate your job so much and the bulk of your time is at a place that is less than perfect for you, then can you possibly be happy at all? I didn't want to be stuck in a cubicle for 8-12 hours a day. My choice to write was a challenging feat. It took nearly 7 years to see any kind of income plus the freelance editing I do behind the scenes. I can work any time I need to, whether it's 9am or 9pm. People seem to think (or assume) that it's not a "real job". So then what is a "real job"? Doing something I can bitch and moan about? Doing something I absolutely hate to do? Is that "real"? I turned my passion into a career, so that it no longer becomes "work". I had passion for something.

Isn't that what it's all about?

If you lack passion for anything you do -- it'll never line up for what's truly meant for you. I've heard so many people poke fun at me of how I have so much "free time" -- when actually, I just work the hours I need to and then live my life the way I want. I get to cook for my family and get errands done so that my wife doesn't have to. As long as I am paying my bills and doing my job -- nobody has a right to tell me otherwise. In fact, (or to brag a little here) -- I am debt free with a high ranking credit score. Though I'm not rich, I am richer than most wealthy people because of the lack of debt.  I love what I do in life and for some people, that irritates them. My point is: never count someone else's money. Never judge what they do or what you think they're 'lacking' in life. What may seem "unconventional" to you may be the entire world to them. And these days, it's hard to find anyone who can truly say, "I love what I do!"  Or better yet: "I love life!" Say everything you need to say to those you love, do everything you can possibly do with your loved ones and friends and never forget to enjoy this present moment -- "the now" -- don't let it slip by because there's a pile of dishes waiting to be done. Love one another.

Again, isn't that what it's all about?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!