This morning, I received an email ad from a kitchen supply store telling me to “savor the holidays.” As I was about to delete it, I started thinking about the word “savor” and what it means. What I aim for in my life is to live in such a way that I savor ALL days, not just the holidays. Isn’t that what it’s all truly about? Not just holidays and celebrations—but everything, from the mundane tasks to the more difficult aspects of living–everything. ALL of life is meant to be savored—not just the holidays.
The dictionary defines savor (the verb) as: to give flavor to, to have experience of, to taste or smell with pleasure, to delight in. Other words or phrases would be season, taste, relish, appreciate, enjoy, and luxuriate in.
We can do that—savor our lives, when we let go of our perfectionism. Have you ever noticed perfectionism doesn’t live in the here and now? Instead, it looks back wistfully at another time and place remembering when things were (in our skewed thinking) “perfect” (or pretty close to it). Perfectionism looks ahead at what could be “if only I could (fill in the blank)”.
Perfectionism refuses to live in today because today is a mess. There are clothes that need washing, noses that need wiping and food that needs preparing. We have body clutter issues, husbands who don’t understand, children that won’t obey and even the dog messes stuff up. CALGON TAKE ME AWAY, we holler, like that erstwhile television commercial with the distraught Mom thinking the only escape in her way less than perfect life was a bubble bath.
So how on EARTH can you savor the above scenario?? The answer is going to sound simplistic and overly Pollyann-ish but I’m going to spout off anyway. You live in the moment, you savor those little runny noses because in a few years, your teenagers will barely let you hug them let alone wipe their noses. Those clothes that need washing? You have a FAMILY that loves you and depends on you—there are legions of single women who wish they lived in your lace up shoes. Bless each one of them as you turn their dirty socks right side out again for the millionth time as you’re doing the wash. Turn on the honey and sweetness with your sweet darling husband—love him up “real good”, with affection, a good meal, clean underwear and a pleasant smile and see if he doesn’t suddenly start to understand a little bit more.
Letting go of perfectionism means savoring our everyday lives with all their messes and imperfections. It means making a conscious decision to become a real blessing in our families lives by appreciating, delighting in, relishing, enjoying and actually LUXURIATING in their presence. Savoring them by giving flavor to our families with our changed attitudes and loving them with our whole hearts.
So go ahead and savor your holidays by being prepared. But don’t forget to keep TODAY in mind as you prepare for Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating. Every day is worthy of celebration.