Sunday, December 7

Best by?

This week, while I was packing up my pantry getting ready to move, I had the disturbing experience of noticing how many items in my kitchen cabinet were past their “Best by…” date.  The record was a can dated 2008.  Even the items I swear I remember purchasing just a few months ago were already beyond their expiration dates.
This jolt of how variable time is made me wonder about the personal deadlines we often arbitrarily set for ourselves.  For example, why do we make resolutions at New Years, just after we’ve seen the people who matter most to us?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to resolve to be our best before we spend time with family and friends through the holiday season?  Unlike a can of beets or a prescription for the dog’s earache of five years ago, there is always something we can do to keep ourselves current, relevant, and continually improving.  And what could better test our resolution than our behavior shared in confined quarters with people who know how to push all of our buttons while we’re loaded with sugar and lacking sleep and personal space? Having control over our own "Best by..." dates gives us the opportunity to adjust our resolutions as we continually reimagine what our "best" self can really be.
As you prepare for the holidays, try seeing yourself through the eyes of those with whom you will be celebrating and spending time.  Make it your goal to have them believe that you are at your best and getting better. 

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