“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
My friend Carol gave me the Seize the Day paperweight pictured above. I had just lost my job and was pretty scared about the next steps on my employment path.
Those words–Seize the Day, the common translation for the Latin phrase Carpe Diem–were my backstop when I was feeling a little sorry for myself in those early days. Lost, confused, angry, and a Duke’s mixture of other feelings clouded those early days but my little paperweight symbolically grounded me.
I could almost feel it saying to me, “When you’re ready . . .”
Seven months later
A few days ago, I was sitting with my best friend Mac (as in Apple laptop), creating a PR piece for a client. When I’m writing, I periodically glance around at the little pieces of inspiration scattered about my office. I never know when one of the pictures or toys or maybe my Billy Butler Bobblehead will siphon off some kinetic energy to me.
My eyes fell on the solid, green paperweight and Gumby sitting next to it.
I actually laughed out loud!
The juxtaposition of the two objects is a complete description of the life I now live. I have seized the day by turning my job loss into an opportunity to launch my dream of writing, connecting with people and telling their stories. And Gumby reminds me to always and forever be flexible and fun.
Gone, well mostly anyway, are the rigid work days of dotting i’s and crossing t’s. I am so grateful!
Gone are the days when I had to bend and twist, Gumby-like, to meet someone else’s expectations. I’m grateful-squared!
Speaking of gratitude . . .
While cleaning out some files recently, I came across a single sheet of paper in my handwriting that reads, “4 Ways of Gratitude.” I have no idea where it came from or the circumstances that caused me to write these four items down. No matter, I suppose, just know that I didn’t make them up!
4 Ways of Gratitude
1. Give thanks and praise for what you have rather than complaining about what is missing. Take nothing for granted.
2. Give thanks for the difficulties and challenges you face.
3. Give thanks in advance for the good you seek.
4. Give thanks for belonging in the world.
Aren’t those cool? I know that some of you might balk at expressing gratitude for your difficulties and challenges you face, but here’s the thing–you can be like Gumby when you give thanks. Bend and sway and do the best you can, but do it because you really need to seize the day that is your life here and now.
I’ll leave you with this, words from a man I haven’t met but I’ve sure heard revered during my involvement with Unity Churches.
“If you want to change your life, begin with these words, I am responsible for my thoughts, words and deeds. I am responsible for my feelings. I am responsible for my reactions. I do not fear what is within me. I accept responsibility for my life.” ~ Rev. Jim Rosemergy
Carpe Diem to you! Seize this day in your life but hold it loosely in flexibility and fun.