(If you need to know what this is all about, start with the first post in the series and click through the succeeding links. Also, as posts are added links will be placed in that first post to each one.)
I struggled last week because “Eat Something Worth Tasting” is the one line in the resolution poem that doesn’t just resonate with me immensely. Don’t get me wrong, I like to eat stuff that is worth tasting, but it is not a life philosophy for me like it was for Kelsey and is for her dad, Simon.
So, thanks to Simon Harris for providing this guest post to get a better look at what this point meant for Kelsey.
By the way, don’t forget to check out The Kelsey Wynne Harris Foundation and the “Life Is More Interesting” merchandise to help support the foundation (once again, these are not affiliate links, none of the purchase money goes to my pocket).
Eat Something Worth Tasting, by Simon Harris
When first I saw “Eat something worth tasting” on Kelsey’s list of New Year’s resolutions, I thought, “That’s my girl!” One of the things Kels and I shared was a love for food, not in a gluttonous sort of way, but in an adventurous way. We loved trying new foods and experimenting with different flavors and spices. We rarely ate leftovers, and when we did they were most often used creatively to make a new dish. Even now when I fix myself lunch I can hear Kelsey asking, “Daddy, what are you having for lunch?” That was her way of saying, “Let’s throw something together.” When we’d go to a new restaurant we were always sure to get different dishes so we could try what the other one ordered. She loved all kinds of food; hot & spicy, savory, sweet, fried, grilled, smoked, baked, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, meat & potatoes; you name it, she’d at least try it!
As Edwin said, we have a family rule that while on vacation we do not eat anywhere we could eat at home. While at home we might love Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and Steak n Shake, but on vacation they are anathema! It’s part of the adventure of vacation, and even more, it’s part of the adventure of living. While that might mean an occasional dud, even that then becomes a funny memory we can share. But, when you have this adventurous attitude about life, the duds are few and far between (not to mention that a little research goes a long way!).
In truth, “Eat something worth tasting” is more about living than it is about eating. Eating is really a metaphor for Kelsey’s view of life. When she ate, she loved every part of it–the sights, the smells, the tastes, the textures, the subtle nuances. What she loved was the experience of eating. Eating was always an event for her. She hated eating on the run, and she was always disappointed when eating was an afterthought. That same attitude was translated into everything she did. She loved going to the library because she loved the smells, the feel of the books, being surrounded by other bibliophiles, and of course, the stacks and stacks of precious books, every one with the ability to take you to fantastic and far away places! She loved doing things many teenagers would think was beneath them, like hanging out with her younger brother and sister, and even her parents, because it was an experience.
Kels was very much a “live for the moment” kind of person. Here’s what I mean; she got every ounce of enjoyment out of every thing she did. She loved the anticipation of what was coming, she enjoyed every second of what she was doing, then she loved talking about all the fun she had doing it! We had a rule for Kels when company would come that she could only make three comments about summer camp, and it was a rule we always had to enforce. She just loved life! And why shouldn’t she? Shortly before her death, a friend posted a question on Pleonast, “Have you been blessed?” Kelsey’s response was, “Hehe, asking if I’ve been blessed is like asking a vegetarian if he eats vegetables. Yay for bad analogies!!“ You might think this was a girl with cancer. You might think this was girl who was in a wheelchair. But really it was a girl who knew that God had blessed her far more than cancer had wounded her.
Here’s my advice to you from all this: Enjoy the experience of living. Savor the sights, the smells, and the tastes. Relish the mundane day-to-day tasks of your existence. Take pleasure in the little events that make up life under the sun. This is the great lesson Solomon taught in Ecclesiastes. Read it sometime noticing how many times he tells us to be content and enjoy life (Ecc. 2:24; 3:12-13, 22; 5:18-19). Added to that, I’d say don’t be afraid to try something new. There is so much good we can experience if we’d just try it. There is so much good we could accomplish if we’d just try it. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to us. It is far worse to regret never having tried. Even in failure there are lessons to learn, lessons we need to learn. Life is not a spectator sport!
In his blog Edwin said that we should stop the whining. Can you see that when you live today with the resolution to “eat something worth tasting” there’s no place for whining? To live with that resolve is to enjoy today, regardless of what’s thrown at you, because every day has it’s own unique flavors, textures, smells, and nuances to be enjoyed!
Come back next week as we move on to talk about hugging someone worth holding.