“the day you open a ’61 Cheval Blanc…that’s the special occasion!
I am writing to you by starting with one of those moments that change your life. The birth of a child is a real “special moment” and I would like to say thank you Anna and welcome to the world! In just an instance, everything or almost everything has changed, including my identity, from son to father in just a split second.

In these days surrounding her birth, it is inevitable to think about my past and how it has evolved. Time flies and the list of things to do is always never-ending, but nobody can give me the same emotions as a “special moment”.

These moments are of a different quality and it is not only a question of “how much time” (quantity), but above all “how you feel” (quality) while the minutes tick by.

Emotional intensity measures quality and I believe that unfortunately man lives a life of very few emotions. We chase after the clock and our diaries, and we hardly ever use time for a break.

I am not trying to sponsor procreation, I firmly believe that immense joy can be felt in other circumstances. But let’s ask ourselves truthfully: how often do we allow time for a special moment?

In planning for it, we often postpone it until we find time in our diary. Sometimes we realize that we work all day just to go home, have brief contact with our loved ones, and then go back to work the next day.

In this way, our initiatives are conditional upon external factors and we forever postpone our happiness: “If I get good results…then I’ll take a relaxing week off!”; “When my kid finishes school, we’ll go on vacation together”; “When I retire, I’ll start to enjoy my hobbies”

The scene gives us Miles (played by Paul Giamatti) dealing with his chronic procrastination. He is a wine lover waiting for that special moment to open a bottle of Cheval Blanc, but his life, like many of our lives, is dictated by a ticking clock.

The “whens and whys” end up in the wheels of the present and govern our aspirations and dreams. And if it were those small moments of freedom to give us the strength to: “get good results?”…”be an example to our child? “…”help us get to our retirement with strength and enthusiasm?”. And what if spending time with our loved ones and dedicating time to their passions gave us a new type of energy? There is a concept called the paradox of intention which says: “You need objectives, but your happiness does not depend on them. You have to be happy even before you reach them, because your state of mind will be the first important step in getting to them.”

In the clip Miles confesses to Maya (Virginia Madsen in the film) that he has a Cheval Blanc among his collection, but that he is waiting for a special moment to open it. Maya, in all her simplicity, replies: “the day you open a ’61 Cheval Blanc…that’s the special occasion!”

This scene gets me thinking a lot.

I hope that you are able to enjoy the present.

Because as Kevin Spacey says, playing his role in K-Pax:

“this time is all you have”


“… and in case I don’t see ya

good afternoon, good evening and good night!”…

(The Truman Show)


Buy the film

Buy the recommended book

"Sideways" – A film by Alexander Payne with Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke. USA, 2004

"In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed" by Carl Honore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *