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  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

Carpe Diem? Or Seize Just Small Elegant Moments?

You know the saying “carpe diem”. It’s Latin for ‘seize the day’. Lots of people, including several of my friends, use this as a personal catchphrase. What they’re practicing, I believe, is a dedication to positively influencing, embracing and maximizing each day’s potential.

Often they do things like go out and tackle those big dreams on their buckets lists. Maybe they start a business, write a book about their adventures in Australia, learn Chinese in China, walk pilgrim trails in Europe or write blogs about their firsthand discoveries about Korean street food. And I wish them well. I applaud their follow-through and celebrate with them their wherewithal to accomplish these spectacular feats. I’m not jealous, though I’d love to do many of these same things, but we all don’t find ourselves with the same access to the necessary resources for some of these adventures in this life. Of course, when we do, we too carpe diem as much as we can.

But sometimes we have to be inventive with how we create our own options. We might be in the midst of a challenging stretch where even considering how to seize a day is beyond reasonable comprehension. But we can always seize a moment. Even in the dead center of tragedy there are these delicate threads of grace, redemption and aspects we might find we are actually grateful for.

And it is in these moments we can know our best selves, too. Not just under those spectacular, not-ordinary-life circumstances. But in the same old grocery store, the familiar walk home from a meeting or in the refocusing eyes of a beloved pet coming out of another terrible seizure we’ve held them through.

As I continue to learn to Be Here Now, I’m able to completely enjoy the exotic reports of friends living their best lives all over the place. And I’m likewise able to be awake to my own precious moments. The ones we all have sprinkled throughout our regular days.

For me, maybe a more appropriate saying might be: “notitiam moments” or ‘notice moments’. Maybe not as familiar as that carpe diem adage, but surely as inspirational.


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