You Only Live Once
You know, Mi, when I hear the children say YOLO – acronym for You Only Live Once, I can’t help but think of the number of times I’ve said the same thing – but in different words – “Only one life to live” – whenever we hesitated to – what’s the word – yes! “indulge”. It is funny how our interpretation / perception of the word “indulge” changed from time to time.
When we were broke, more than two meals was an indulgence.
Buying something slightly over budget, even if we needed it, was indulgence.
Over the years though, it was a matter of making a choice. When I took Iyer’s Yamaha out at 10 pm in the night after playfully snatching his keys even as he yelled at me, begging his friends to stop me, I remember thinking – hey, you only live once – so why not go out on that ride at night! And I did, while those friends regretted not stopping me. Oh, I got back safe after a lovely moonlit ride with a two minute stop over at the little lake near our place, after gazing at the light playing on the surface of the water, making it shimmer. When I returned home, you just laughed, saying you knew I wouldn’t do anything rash. Oh, I love the faith you had in me, Mi.
I can feel the waves of nostalgia coming on!
Then, I remember that stormy day one November in Chennai. Trees fell, and the weather played havoc with the city, as it did every November around Diwali. We were listening to the news, shocked at nature’s fury. Then suddenly, you said, let’s go see a movie! Paati (Grandma) was shocked. But Mama encouraged us and you and I left, bravely. You said, you only live once! We got a bus right away and we settled down, ready to go to a particular point and change buses from there.
To our surprise,we found that this bus’s had been diverted from its route and it would drop us right outside the theater we were headed for! Wow! So we got off there – got tickets and enjoyed the movie! Hero – starring Meenakshi Shesadri and Jackie Shroff – and we enjoyed it so much. The fun part was, we returned home by the same bus route. Talk about Universe listening to make it happen for us! We talked about this for years, taking courage from it – when we dare to attempt, there’s no reason things shouldn’t work out the way we want!
So many memories, Mi.
Down the line, as I move through life, I find that because I still believe in the You live only once theory, I am more conscious about being nice, loving, kind, appreciative, non-judgmental and enjoying the little moments that make up the big things in life. What’s that phrase? “Living mindfully”. Yep!
Some great quotes
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
~ Abraham Lincoln
As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.
I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dropped it carelessly, Ah! I didn’t know, I held opportunity.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
~Larry McMurtry, Some Can Whistle
Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.
And to quote my Grandma….what’s the point if you don’t eat when you are hungry?