Im Eyn Ani Li, Mi li... If I am not for myself, who shall be for me?

We convince ourselves that life will be better later on - after we get married, then when have a baby, then another. Soon enough we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough to sit, walk, listen, do things for and by themselves - and we're sure we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have pre-teens or teenagers to deal with - they seem to know everything, like we never did... Isn't that right? Dear God, when did we become the things we didn't care for in our own parents...

We are convinced that we will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage - whatever "stage" it is. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete and blissful when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on that nice vacation, cruise, trip - or, the big "reward" - when we retire.

The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. The Ethics of the Fathers, part of our Jewish literature, from the Mishnah, the Oral Teaching, says: "ve'im lo akhshav, ey mata'y -If not now, when?" Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and make up your mind, decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the choice way to exist. It is best to resolve that your life should not be filled with missed opportunities. The saddest four words are, "it could have been!" Happiness is not a goal, it is the path towards a goal - the goal is looking back from the vantage point of a good old age and approving of where you are and the way you arrived there.

So, cherish every moment that you have, and savor it even more because you shared it with someone particular and unique, special enough to spend your time with. Remember that time waits for no one - and it's the only thing in our life we cannot save or keep under our mattress.

So, stop waiting: Until you get out of college; or until you get that good job; or until your car or college loan or home is paid off; or until you get a new car or home; or until the baby is out of diapers; or until the kids finish high school; or until your kids leave the house; or until you go back to school; or until you finish your thesis; or until you finish school; or until you lose 10 lbs.; or until you gain 10 lbs.; or until you fall in love and get married; or until you get a divorce and are "free at last..."; or until you have kids; or until you retire; or until summer; or until spring; or until winter; or until fall; or until "the right time..." - or, God forbid, until you die!

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is always a journey, not a destination. So-o-o-o -- work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching. Enjoy yourself, grab the day and run with it!




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