Warren Zevon gave a legendary interview on the Late Show With David Letterman after finding out he’d been diagnosed with lung cancer. His advice bears repeating.
After the obligatory jokes about the irony of his song and album titles, like “Life Will Kill You,” “My Ride’s Here,” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” (yeah, it’s dark, but watch the interview – these are old friends with a shared sense of humor), Letterman asked him if he knew anything different now that he was face to face with death.
A very stoic Zevon told him, “Enjoy every sandwich.”
It’s not the stuff that matters so much as the experiences along the way. And it’s not just the experiences, but if or how we choose to experience them, if or how we choose to even acknowledge them.
Every so often we (ok, I) need a reminder. Fortunately, we can find them anywhere. There’s a million different sandwich-equivalents floating around us at any point in time, each offering at least a moment of joy, no matter how small.
As a longtime seasonal allergy suffer, I always hated the expression, “Stop and smell the roses.” For me, that’s a headache. However, I can definitely get behind ol’ Warren’s advice here.
Life is short. Take it seriously but not too seriously. Laugh with friends about it. Don’t get so busy you forget to experience or appreciate things. And by all means, enjoy every sandwich.
Here’s the interview and some “Werewolves of London” for good measure.