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Friday, September 23, 2011

Carpe Diem

My mother, who is spry and nearly eighty is very fond of (nagging) encouraging me to enjoy life. She often chastises me for working too hard and chasing the dollar.

It's then that I remind her that I do not have six children who will take care of me when I'm her age. Greg and I are on our own. Whatever we've saved up until now has to last us the rest of our lives--however long that might be.

Still, I get her drift. Life is too short to waste it on things that bring you no pleasure.

A friend of mine told me recently that she had lost her joy of writing. I get that way every once in a while too. I usually snap out of it, but one day I know I won't. One day, I'll decide there are other things I'd like to do that bring me more joy--or at least less headaches.

Despite my mother's nagging I actually learned this lesson earlier from my father-in-law. Greg and I once gave him a very expensive bottle of whiskey. It was from a maker he loved and we knew it was the perfect gift for him.

But when he died several years later, we found the bottle in his closet, still unopened. We were so terribly sad because we knew he was saving that whiskey for a special day, and now he would never have the chance to drink it.

Carpe Diem. Sieze the day. Enjoy life to its fullest, and do what you love best because you'll never know when that day will be your last.

What have you been putting off for another day? What gives you joy?

***
Guess the Title Contest
Here are the previous hints for guessing the title to my next book.

• There are two 'Os' in the title.
• Something in the cover art is integral to the title.
• There are two S's in the third word of the title.
• There is one 'H' in the title.
 
And here is today's hint:
• One of the words is a preposition.

To enter the contest, fill out the form here

26 comments:

Renee Miller said...

Must be something in the air, Maria. I needed this post very much this week. What have I put off? Hmmm. In the past I put a lot of things off. My constant thought was "What's the use?" or "Why bother if I'm just gonna fail anyway?" Talk about optimistic.

I don't see things that way anymore. If I want something, I go for it.

Wait...I have put something off. Driving. It scares the bejesus out of me and I did have my learner's permit several times, but I just can't get over that fear. I said when I turned 30 that I'd learn to drive before 40...the clock is ticking. I just puked a little in my mouth at the idea.

julie fedderson said...

I understand this completely. I used to pick up a beautiful piece of jewelry or a dress and say, I'll wear that for a special occasion. And about a year ago I suddenly decided to make each day a special occasion. So now I go out, overdressed I'm sure, but I feel splendid. And maybe that's half the battle.

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: You must come down here and visit. This way you can attend the Maria 'Andretti' School of Driving.

I don't like to drive, but I've been known to be an adventurous driver.

I find it hard to believe driving scares you.

***

Julie: That is a beautiful promise to yourself. Good for you. That's the way to do it!

Dru said...

Nice post.

This is a lesson that I learned a few years ago when I was waiting for something to happened and it didn't and I missed an opportunity. So now, I go to my reader conventions; take those short trips; and enjoy what life has to offer me.

Isis Rushdan said...

People should start living their best life today. Like you said, tomorrow is not promised to us.

L.G.Smith said...

We've been putting off a trip we want to take (time, money, too much effort), but decided recently we're just going to do it. It's something we've always wanted to do and we're tired of just dreaming about it. Carpe Diem!

Krista D. Ball said...

I don't really put things off, unless I can't afford them or they are illegal or whatever :)

In fact, it might help me if I didn't seize nearly as much some days LOL

re: losing the interest in writing

It's like any career. Some people enjoy it forever. Some do not. Some do job changes within their career's umbrella. It's all good :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Missed opportunity is a harsh lesson. But not a lesson we soon forget.

Isis: It worries me a little that the current generation has so many entitlement issues. They're in for a rude awakening when they discover opportunity isn't always going to fall into their laps.

LG: Good for you! We've been on the fence on a trip too. If we can find someone to take care of animals, we're going to go.

Krista: I noticed you put in the 'illegal' disclaimer.

Yeah, sure. I understand. :wink:

Krista D. Ball said...

I would never, ever do something illegal.

Never.

Ever.

*hides the shovel*

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm going to go "seize" a cup of coffee and finish my edits today and then treat myself to a pedicure. LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: Hey! Wasn't that the *shovel* you borrowed from me?

Jennifer: LOL. I like the way your mind thinks. Enjoy!

Rula Sinara said...

It's a sorry thing that people have to be reminded or give themselves permission to do things that make them happy...but it's the way it is for many. I needed that reminder today. :)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i lost my joy of writing for about two years or so. I regret it now, because who knows how far i'd be on my path if i didn't lose those 2 years, but at the time i needed the break. I'm with you. It wouldn't surprise me if one day it came back. But i guess i'll cross that bridge when i get there

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I seize a little too often, I think. It's why I can't have donuts in the house.

Angela Brown said...

This is one of those much needed reminders. Thanks Maria :-)

marlenedotterer said...

This is so true. I tend to celebrate things quickly. I'll find a good reason to use that gift of wine or whiskey, and not hang on to it for very long. Once, we had to throw out several bottles of expensive wine, because we'd kept them too long, under not-quite-perfect storage conditions. They had all turned to vinegar. It's not worth it to wait. Life is full of times and events to celebrate. Find one and go for it - as often as possible!

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: I blame my Catholic upbringing. LOL. I'm supposed to suffer before I can celebrate.

***
Sarah: It's been my experience that things happen for a reason. Though you lost your joy of writing for a couple of years, I'm willing to bet you made up for in different experiences, and that made you richer as a person.

***
Barbara: ROTFL! Okay, that one took me off guard. I could go for a donut right now.
***
Angela: When I was younger, I was very much into denying myself pleasures, saying it was better to save it for a later day. But now I'm in my later days, and I don't want to save my joys anymore.

***
Marlene: Ouch! There's a lesson right there.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Mother always knows what is best, so they say. :) 80 how nice. I think mothers are wonderful.
As for what I have been putting off, Hmmm. Oh getting my hair cut. lol... It's long and I wonder if it would be any better short. Geez Maria, I don't think I have put anything off that I have really wanted to do or something that is important. I enjoy what I do.

jackie b central texas said...

Life turns on a dime, we only live it once and as my family and all my neighbors found out Labor Day weekend it is very much best to enjoy your "toys" and your time on earth while you have a chance.
Maria they say with age comes wisdom, well I have the age but so far the wisdom eludes me and putting off certain more pleasurable activities still takes second place to obligations and responsibilities.

Enid Wilson said...

I want to travel more but work is always in the way...

Your mother is very wise.

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Mike Keyton said...

Then again, your father in law might have been happy knowing the whiskey was there. Deferment of pleasure is a wonderful thing. I might drink cheap whiskey during the year but look forward to the expensive malt at Christmas. If I die before then, it won't really spoil the pleasurable anticipation.

Other than that, Carpe diem is sound advice. I was going to say 'and peculiarly western' but I'm not sure if that's true. Perhaps worth exploring.

Maria Zannini said...

Suzanne: Way to go. I wish cutting my hair was the only thing on my list.

Jackie: Isn't that the truth. You really got a taste of Whammo in a very short period of time. I'm glad things are beginning to settle down.

Enid: Travel is a biggie in our bucket list. I understand completely.

Mike: True. But then if you died, malt whiskey would be the least of your worries--I hope. LOL.

Kerri Cuev said...

This is such a great saying.Carpe Diem everyone!
I left you an award on my blog Maria!

Maria McKenzie said...

Great advice from mom!

Maria Zannini said...

Kerri: Words to live by that's for sure.

Maria: She's pretty smart for an old lady. :)

Nadja Notariani said...

Truer words were never spoken...eh? Good advice. Live today. ~ Nadja