For those of you somehow outside of the 24 hour news cycle, Elizabeth Edwards died on Tuesday. I wasn’t going to comment because my blog hasn’t been terribly political, or even really terribly connected to pop culture, but it’s been on my heart nonetheless. Edwards has long since been my favorite political spouse, and even in light of the craziness that consumed much of her life in the public eye, at the very least I found myself with some respect for the way that she carried herself in the light of a devastating diagnosis. Her death had been a long time coming, but I still found myself disbelieving somehow. She’d been a part of my public consciousness for so long, it was hard to imagine that she’d made her last mark on society. Edwards’ passing gave me just a minute’s pause to think about how I am using my own life.
Last year I read an article in the New York Times about people who are “procrastinators of pleasure.” I instantly saw myself in the definition, quickly resolved to “have more fun” and then largely went about my pleasure procrastinating ways. While I did manage to spend a few of my gift certificates, that was largely because I started making more money, and thus felt that the pleasure could be recreated, and not because of some great shift in my thinking. Case in point: for years I looked forward to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Committed. I religiously checked her website for updates, logged onto Amazon to see when details were available, and couldn’t wait to pick up my copy at the bookstore (this is a particularly big deal since last year I fell in love with the library, I NEVER buy books unless they’re from a favorite author). I picked it up just short of a year ago, when I went to hear Ms. Gilbert speak in Cambridge and have yet to even crack the spine. Why? Not because I’m not interested, but because there isn’t another book to read after this one. I was SO looking forward to reading it, and when it’s done, it’s done. What will I do then? (Logic tells me that I’ll do the same things that I did this year when I wasn’t reading the book…)
Here’s the thing though, life is fleeting. I’m putting off my pleasure, but what for? In the end, it’s about the moments, about living each one to the fullest. And you know, perhaps if I start truly taking pleasure in each moment, I’ll find more pleasure in life altogether.
New Year’s Resolutions
- Read Committed (and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.. I picked them up at the same time last year, and have been procrastinating actually reading them for the same reason).