This simple Latin phrase loosely means “seize the day.” It doesn’t intend a violent type of seizure but more of an enthusiastic embrace. The two words are part of a longer phrase given to us by Horace: “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.” Roughly translated this phrase means, to me, “embrace what you’re able today because there is no promise of a tomorrow.”
This has taken on a deeper meaning for me lately. As you may recall, I had a bracelet made for myself that says, “Embrace the journey.” After the word ‘journey’ on the bracelet is the triquetra symbol. The symbol has a wide and varied meaning but, for me, it definitely is used in reference to my religious faith. Without that faith I wouldn’t be here. But I’m not here to speak about faith.
What I am here to speak about today is making a conscious effort to be cognizant of what each of us has for this day, for this moment in time. As with many, I have taken so much for granted in my lifetime. Yes, we understand that the only constants in this life are: birth, death and taxes. But do we really get it? Have we really embraced it? I haven’t.
I’m fortunate enough to still have my mom around. About three and a half years ago my father passed. While each of us recognizes this is what happens, we don’t really understand it. And over the past few years, I have watched my mom stoically lose most of her friends, those with whom she grew up and beyond. She has maintained a grace and dignity about their losses I can only hope to achieve. But I know the pain never goes away. My brother passed over eighteen years ago and I don’t think a day goes by that she doesn’t mourn his loss.
Now it may seem I’ve traveled into “Debbie Downer land” for this post but I haven’t. This is a celebratory post because I’m thrilled to discover that I now “get it.” Check out the following: life is short, there is no dress rehearsal for life, tempus fugit (time flies), stop and smell the roses…and on and on. I get it, I get it!!! I must embrace the present! I don’t always have to like it but it’s what I have.
Stop living in that self-absorbed environment that consumes many people in today’s society. It stinks. Stop. Take inventory of what you have, of who you have, of why you have it, of why you should be grateful. Embrace what surrounds you in a positive realm and reject any negativity that will suck you dry. If opportunities present themselves that may seem dubious…if they’re going to make you happy, and not hurt anyone, embrace them!
I’m determined that my glass is always half full from now on, to recognize that there is beauty everywhere I go and I am determined to seize any opportunity for positivity that comes my way. Does this mean I’ve turned into a wide-eyed, perpetually cheerful Pollyanna? Heck, no. But I have become wiser as to the manner of how I will spend the rest of my time here on Earth.
My plan: Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Try it.