Every so often it becomes necessary for me to clean out the top drawer in my dresser. That drawer is the receptacle for all sorts of things that I don’t know what to do with. When the time comes when the drawer can no longer close, it is time to dig in and purge. Buried at the bottom was a coupon book. Not your ordinary coupon book, but one that jolted me to my reality.
My wife Phran, unlike myself, was extremely creative in all her endeavors. Whereas I would buy her the exact same birthday gift three times (yes, I actually did that), she always managed to come up with something simple and meaningful for me. For one of my more recent birthdays, she presented me with a book of tickets. Each ticket was imprinted with a different gift, and the tickets were redeemable with no date expiration. Now, I will be discreet here (unlike my personal life) and not mention some of the “gifts.” Let’s just say that they were services that provided me pleasure. Some coupons were for things more mainstream, such as back rubs, scalp massages, and similar things that I enjoyed.
My first reaction when pulling out the book of tickets, besides the sadness, was “wait… she can’t be gone…. I have coupons left to redeem.” My second thought was profound angst at never cashing in. She went to all that trouble to make me happy, all that creativity, all that love.
My humble advice to all is to remember to redeem your coupons while you can. These tickets may not be printed or in physical form. They may require attentiveness and contemplation. They may require changing the way you think and tuning into what really matters. They may require reliance on empathy and compassion instead of ego. Nevertheless, it may be the key to fulfillment in this life, and likely the next.