I believe everyone has some small piece of outrageousness inside themselves. Some people cherish and nurture it, letting it out to play with great regularity, rejoicing in the resultant laughter and skinned knees and wild flights of imagination.
Other people hide it away as if they must protect it, hoarding it for that rainy day when it might be acceptable to release it, just a bit, if only for a little while. Still others repress it and beat it down into submission until it sits there cowering in the darkest corner of their soul, cringing at the mere thought of fresh air and sunlight.
Those others are the people who save the good crystal for the grand occasions that never come, reasoning instead that there are small children scattered about who might break it. The same people who hold back that truly fine bottle of wine, waiting for just the right moment, hesitating because there never seems to be an event quite special enough.
I imagine them arriving at the end of life only to find they have a bottle of expensive finely-aged wine, all the special occasions it might have commemorated and the special people with whom they might have shared it faded into the mists of distant memory. Realizing they have a pristine, heirloom quality crystal bowl that holds no memories of the Thanksgiving when Great Aunt Betty sneezed while serving up her third helping of black cherry jell-o and dropped the spoon on the edge, leaving a stain on the tablecloth and a chip in the bowl whose origin was destined to become a fond and oft-told tale in the fabric of family history.
For too many years, I have been that cautious, careful person. The serious, responsible adult. The one whose role it was to tell others, especially my children, to be careful, mind your manners, watch your step. After all, what will people think?
But that person wasn’t much fun and wasn’t especially happy. Or particularly interesting.
It’s a slow and sometimes painful process, but I’m learning to release the outrageous part inside of me that longs to run free in the sunlight and laugh with abandon. The part that thumbs its nose at convention and tradition and instead embraces vitality and honesty and delight. The part that doesn’t give a good damn whether anyone approves and, frankly, hopes that maybe someone won’t.
So come on over and we’ll make some jell-o in that Waterford bowl. I’ll break out the fine crystal and we can pop the cork on that dusty, heady bottle of wine. We’ll make some memories and live some life. We’ll have fun and we’ll be outrageous. And we’ll laugh. And live with no regrets.
Because even as it gets longer, life gets shorter every day. And you will never get another chance to celebrate this moment. Yes, this one. Right now.
What a shame it would be if you saved it for later. Because all too often, later is too late.