When I was 40, I went for a drive with Nancy — my close friend who owns a Porsche, and we ended up at a movie. Who knows, who cares which movie it was?
I do remember this much of the movie: the high gloss mahogany table in the center of the entry hall had a vase of tall, beautiful, fresh-cut flowers from the gardens. They were breathtaking. They made me notice that every room in the mansion of the movie had a table with glorious flowers.
After the movie, Nancy and I walked in silence to the Porsche. We let our movies sink in that way. She had her thoughts. I had mine. I was thinking about those flowers. When I grow up, I’m going to have fresh cut flowers in every room of my house.
That thought stopped me in my tracks.
Nancy stopped too. She knows me well enough. She looked at me in anticipation. “Yes?” was all she needed to say.
“What am I waiting for?”
“You’re waiting? You’re stopped. What are you waiting for?”
I started slowly walking in circles around the late night parking lot. I was watching my sneakers, as if the words were hidden on my shoelaces.
“No, no. Here I am 40 years old. I’ve built a new home. I’ve got a great job, and I left that movie thinking When I grow up I’ll have fresh flowers in every room in my house. What am I waiting for? “
“And?” She had faith I’d figure it out.
“When exactly did I think that would be? What’s stopping me from doing that now?”
“And your answer to that?”
“I’m giving myself permission right now to have fresh flowers in my house from this day now on. Think this little car could take us somewhere that we could buy flowers on the way home?”
“Sure thing,” she smiled, the way she does.
The next week I became a gardener and in a month I had fresh flowers in my office every day too. . . .
Friday is a good day to give yourself permission to do something you forgot you always wanted to do.