One of Dad’s favorite expressions was Carpe Diem. He told me it meant “seize the day”. As a kid I didn’t know what that looked like—I was always looking forward to the next big event. I remember the words I spoke so often: “I just can’t wait until…(vacation, summer, Christmas, my birthday, you name it, I couldn’t wait)”. My mother’s response: “You’ll just have to wait.”
So, I spent my childhood waiting. Did I enjoy my individual days? I think so, but maybe that’s just me reflecting on my past, thinking about neighborhood picnics, evenings playing kick the can and afternoons swinging on the rope swing that flew out over the gully.
I have been guilty of thinking too much about the past (either romanticizing or regretting my decisions) or worrying about the future. Did I live for the day? Did I ever “seize the day”? I don’t think so, but that changed for me when the pandemic hit. Why did it take so long?
Today is yesterday’s future and will be tomorrow’s past, but it will mean nothing if I don’t live TODAY to the fullest. That doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind by eating all the chocolate or laying on the couch watching trash TV(although I’m not above that). To me, making the best of each day means talking a walk, exploring the world around me, writing a new chapter or reading someone else’s words, calling a friend, comforting a loved one—in other words, just being present. I’ve seen more beauty in the world and found more connection in the past year than I had in the past ten years. It is wonderful to be present even as we stand six feet apart.
Now, with vaccinations, we can move a little closer, hug our friends and really “seize the day”—or can we? As much as I try my best to focus on this day alone, I can’t help worrying about the future just a little. Where are we going from here? Will we ever reach herd immunity if people keep refusing vaccinations? Will it ever be safe again to “seize the day” without fear? I hope so.
I was supposed to be in Whistler this week, enjoying my timeshare with some of my wonderful Canadian friends. The border is opening a bit too late for me this year, but as much as I’d like to say, “I just can’t wait till next year” (as I so often did as a kid), I will find joy in today in my own little world. I will take a walk with my new best friend, Benny (my adorable rescue dog), post this blog, maybe add a chapter to my next book and later, I hear there’s a live band playing at my favorite golf course tonight. I’m on my way…