I have always loved Quincy Jones' song (sung by James Ingram), One Hundred Ways. The lyrics stole my heart years ago because, by God, they are true. If it's violins she loves...well, let them play. Send her roses...just because. And even better: in your arms, she will reflect...she owes you the sweetest of debts...yes, let her repay. Find one hundred ways!
But the lyrics go far beyond romance and reciprocity. What about living a One Hundred Ways kind of life?
Recently, on a night I had a party to attend, the weather suddenly turned. By late afternoon, a sparkling summer day had become dark and chilly. Rain was not in the forecast but I no longer felt like partying. So I downplayed it by wearing a boring but comfortable dress, minimal makeup and I regrettably ate too much lunch, even though I knew it would spoil my appetite at the party. "I'll just put in a appearance and head back home to my bed and watch Netflix", I said to myself. And then wouldn't you know it - the party was wonderful and festive and fun. Our hosts moved the enchanting dinner table from the lawn to the covered porch which was decorated with pots of trailing ivy and bright begonias. They pulled out all the stops - they found one hundred ways.
Some people naturally live this way. One sees it in the nurse at the doctor's office who has complete pride in her job. Her efficiency and manner offer a sense of order and reassurance. It's the friend who makes your visits special by serving you a delectable warm treat from the oven to go with your mug of tea. Even when she's dead tired from being sandwiched between needy children and elderly parents. It's the co-worker with a serious illness, who shows up at the office every day with another new fetching scarf wrapped around her head. It's the comforting lunch you pack for a loved one that's filled with nourishing food, all attractively wrapped. It's the elderly woman who still wears lipstick and dresses with care as she sets out on her daily round.
So if flowers are what you love, buy that bouquet for heaven's sake. If you crave tomatoes, fill the kitchen. Simmer sauce, make tomato tarts, sandwiches, salads. Ditto watermelon, lemons - whatever it is you're passionate about. Immerse yourself. Roll around in it. Let's stop saving our perfumes, the "good" dishes, and anything tucked away for "best". "Best" is now. Use your things. Show them off. Share them. Multiply them.
Quincy Jones reminds us that if it's one more star we want, go all the way. Life is short - shorter than we sometimes realize while in the midst of it. So, show up. Be present. Dress the part. Go big. Begin today. Begin again tomorrow. Do it as long as you possibly can. Find one hundred ways.