The Lessons of Carpe Diem

The weather is something none of us can control. It’s also a good example of how little we can actually influence certain things in our lives. We like to think we are in control, and certainly feel better when we have some semblance of it. But the truth is the only thing we can ever truly master is our attitude about what’s happening.

Central European weather patterns can be fierce, no matter what time of year. One day it is 24C, then next day it’s 12C. This yo-yo effect has given me ample opportunity to reconsider where I actually live. Because the weather isn’t something I can do much about.

But I can make a choice to live somewhere else. Or change my attitude while I live where I do.

Consistent warm days, which are rather rare, have become one of my best teachers in seizing the day for all it is worth. The notion of carpe diem takes hold when the sun actually appears. You start to appreciate its golden rays on a level you could not if you saw it all the time (I am told that people in California often rejoice when it actually rains).

Yesterday I made my kids go outside. They got as far as the porch, both lying together on the chaise lounge within reach of our inhouse WiFi. Well, at least the sun met their skin. It’s all a mother of teens can ask sometimes.

As we get older, we also start to shift our attention toward the days we have left. Reaching middle age gives us time to pause and reflect on the first half of our lives. How will the next half look?

If we embrace each day for the goodness it can hold, my guess is the second half will be amazing.

Seize the day, my friends. Today is really all you will ever have.


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