The sky was ribboned with dark clouds as I set out for an early morning run, surrounded by the cactus-studded foothills of Tucson, Arizona.
With each pulsing beat of my footsteps, the sky was preparing to herald a new day. I watched intently as the blackened silhouette of the nearby mountains slowly developed an orange blush.
Suddenly, a radiant rainbow-like arc emerged from a pocket in the clouds and cast a brush of gold across the sky, painting the face of the mountain ahead. I stopped running, too awestruck to continue.
Though the other peaks were still cloaked in what remained of night’s darkness, the entire surface of this mountain glowed like a golden fire. I looked up and down the road, hoping to find someone with whom to share this experience; there was no one around, not even a stray dog.
Within minutes, dawn’s unstoppable force of illumination burst forth and my gold mountain faded.
Bursting with euphoria after witnessing this magnificent sunrise, I looked up at the heavens and shouted jubilantly, “Thank you, God, for this beautiful moment!”
Although this experience was fleeting and I’m now far away from those mountains, I can still close my eyes and celebrate the memory of that joyful moment. That’s what makes life worth living — celebrating perfect moments, both past and present.
Of course, we have many special moments to look forward to when these days of pandemonium are over, like giving real hugs to our loved ones, dining out at a favorite restaurant, or listening to a symphony orchestra in an actual concert hall.
But even now, in the midst of the turmoil, family, friends and colleagues are experiencing some perfect moments that are definitely worth celebrating.
I decided to spend my pandemic isolation updating my book, Use the Good Dishes, Finding Joy in Every Day Life to Use the Good Dishes, No Matter What Life Serves Up to remind readers that it’s important to celebrate life, no matter what.
This may seem counterintuitive when life becomes difficult and throws challenges our way. But consider the alternative: does focusing on the bad stuff or wallowing in negativity ever make anyone happy?
A lot has happened in the years since I wrote Use The Good Dishes. Today, more than ever, it’s important to remember the good things in your life, and I’m providing what I hope is an inspirational map to help you do that.
You’ll read about how ordinary people are living their best lives while adapting to change in positive ways. You’ll learn the importance of rituals, traditions, and savoring happy memories. You’ll realize the benefits of giving back by helping others. You’ll find the courage to take risks and seek adventure.
Above all, I hope you’ll come away with this simple piece of advice — Don’t postpone joy; use the good dishes now!