I’m a day behind in my 30DLBL assignments because I celebrated the last day of summer yesterday by going sailing instead of sitting at my computer!
The one question in today’s 30DLBL assignment that hit home is the one I’ll get my Future Self to address. “What are the biggest things your Present Self should do from now on to live your life to the fullest?” First, I’m going to change the “should” to “can”. (I have worked hard on removing the word “should” from my vocabulary.) So, here’s my question for my Future Self:
“What are the biggest things your Present Self can do from now on to live your life to the fullest?”
My Future Self answered the following. My Future Self apparently has a purple-ink pen. Glad to see her color preferences are consistent with mine ;).
Kate, seek more often to enjoy the variety that life offers you. Be more willing to fit adventures into your days. To do things you don’t usually do. I know you find a deep contentment, even joy, in your lifestyle and routines. I know you’re happy being a hermit. Still, I’d like you to also give this a try: When some idea for an activity crosses your mind or appears before you, and it appeals to you, make a plan to do it. Hey! I know you too well…. I’m saying, make A Definite Plan, don’t just say the usual, “I’ll do it when I get a round tuit.” Try this, instead: Accept and do more of those ideas. You tend to put them on the back burner. I’m saying, put them on the front burner instead!
Here’s the rub. You just never know when an opportunity will disappear, or when your health may change so that you can’t do as much, or when your partner will no longer be around so you can enjoy doing things with him. You cannot anticipate what changes will come, or when. So….
Riffing on this theme, with the help of Wikipedia:
In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero — “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.” The ode says that the future is unknowable, and that instead one should scale back one’s hopes to a brief future, and drink one’s wine. This phrase is usually understood against Horace’s Epicurean background
A Rabbinic version of this idea: “And if not now, when?” (Pirkei Avoth 1:14)
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” The first line from the poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick.
Horace himself parodies his Carpe Diem phrase in another of his poems, The town mouse and the country mouse. He uses the phrase Carpe Viam meaning “seize the road” to compare the two different attitudes to life of a person (or in this case, a mouse) living in a city and in the countryside.
Robin Williams’s character in the film Dead Poets Society (1989) says, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” The American Film Institute ranked this line number 95 in its list of the 100 best quotations in American film history.
Thanks, Future Self. I think you probably approve of my choice yesterday to get off my butt and go sailing. Why did it take so much coaxing-of-Self to get going and do that? It was great once I got out there! I was glad to get away from the demands and to-do’s that I had been imagining held power over my day. They didn’t really. They just really needed me to give them each some time on the back burner. When I got home, I realized that putting those items on the back burner had actually burned off some of their power over me.
“I think those thoughts, too,” came from my wiser Future Self. Good to know!
Your advice, Future Self, rings very true, and is synchronous with my Mission Statement:
To live in the now and to do everything that my Future Self will wish she’d done.
To live so that I have no regrets.