Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem by Seems Artless

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There’s an important life lesson I gleaned from work that’s finally started to permeate my own life. Given I’ve been working there for many years, it’s about time.

In life we all seem to let things hold us back. Fears, insecurities, lack of know-how, laziness; any and all of these prevent us from seizing the day. Some of us procrastinate. A lot. Some of us can imagine what change might be like, but never plan for it to become a reality.

I work in a job that, you could say, helps young adults turn their dreams into reality. They need a plan, they need to work hard for it. And once they set sail, they have a finite time in which to fulfil their heart’s desires.

Most fulfil their dream with their minds blown, their lives completely changed. They’ve crammed in so many amazing and exciting opportunities that they would never have otherwise entertained. They don’t feel the same people any more. Almost all tell me it’s the best thing they ever did.

I’ve often fed off their excitement and enthusiasm. It’s truly inspirational and aspirational. It’s also made me and them wonder about how humdrum ordinary life seems back home. Why aren’t we finding the excitement in our everyday life?

I’ve done this job for a long time, and I’m now pretty convinced that this enrichment of life is all about seizing the day, seizing the moments. Carpe Diem.

When they’re away, and these young adults know it’s for such a short window of time. Most of them grab every single opportunity that comes their way because they know it may never come back again. So live, most of them do.

It reminds me of the question we sometimes get asked; “If you knew you only had one month to live, how would you live it?”

The fact is, our lives are finite. Maybe not knowing the end, not having a time limit or boundary, removes the urgency to seize maximum fulfillment from every moment. Maybe subconsciously, or unconsciously, we feel it can wait, that we have more time to delay, to worry, to procrastinate.

But what it we flipped that all on its head? Suddenly, instead of more time to dilly-dally, we’d have more time to fill our lives with amazing experiences!

So how has this nugget changed my life? Well, slowly but surely. In small ways, I’m learning to let go of some things that I see now as a waste of time. But it’s still a work in progress. Some things are always easier to tackle than others. For instance, I’m still a terrible procrastinator but I’m trying to work on that.

I don’t want to spend another year sitting opposite young adults admiring their adventures with a tinge of personal regret. I don’t want to look back 6 years from my next milestone birthday and feel I’m in exactly the same place I was at my last milestone birthday. I know my personal adventures will be very different now I have a family, but that shouldn’t stop me from seizing the moments and seizing day.

Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem to you all.

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17 thoughts on “Carpe Diem

  1. Great post, and very timely for me. I’m in a place where I want to make a change and while I always fight against the fear that holds me back, it takes a big push through! Thanks for the encouragement, and it sounds like you have an awesome job!

    • I agree, Lisa. I still struggle with the fear too. I guess we need to consider what the worst might be if we did push through. We know what the reality is if we don’t; our comfort zone which isn’t really all that comfortable when we are trying to avoid the fear that comes with risk! My job’s had its ups and downs but it’s taught me heaps about life, no less.

  2. Very inspiring, Veronica. I can imagine that seeing others seize the day would make you wonder if you were making the most of your own. I am sure with your reflective spirit and wisdom you WILL seize opportunities. Your adventures may not seem as adventurous as the young adults (who probably have less responsibility than you) but I am sure there is a way of living a full and rich life whilst still being a mother of young children! Damn it, I’m trying to make that happen too! I await to hear more of your adventures. Thanks for reminding us that we need to do some seizing! x

  3. Carpe Diem! I think when we think of these young adults is that they’re also part of the Gen Y and even younger (I think they call it “iGen”???) And these guys, for all their abundance in ambition and adventurous spirit, it’s part of their nature to “seize the moment”. I think the Gen X’ers are more about stability and commitment to one job/company. I know these are sweeping, general statements but I definitely see a difference in the work force with the younger generation.
    I look forward to mine with my family. I’m done with travelling, living overseas on my own.
    And I think there are exciting times ahead for you and your family too. I’m certain of it.

    • I know what you mean about the generational difference, Grace. I wonder if it comes with age too. Will they want more stability in 10-15 years? In any case, I have to remind myself to not let being comfortable prevent me from taking risks. It’s probably one of my biggest challenges!

    • You’re right, Tat. I shouldn’t drop everything but I think, as you say, with time, I’m learning how to distinguish between things. Life is a work in progress!

  4. Awesome post Veronica. I agree that it is so easy to let opportunities pass us by. To get caught up in the humdrum, the mundane, instead of reaching out and making the most of everything. And fear for me is a big factor in not following my dreams more fully (or at least openly).
    I’d love to know what some of the things are that you have let go because you feel are a waste of time :)
    x Sannah

    • Thanks, Sannah. I still have fear about many things too, but the thing is to know it and try to push through it. And some days, the humdrum is okay because it is what it is and it is necessary, like laundry (ugh!) and dishes!

      The things I’ve had to learn to let go of relate to my perfectionist tendencies. I’ve had to ask myself if it was worth spending time on things that aren’t that important such as tidying the kid’s toy mess everyday (since we know it will be a mess 10 minutes later). Or if it was critical I source and file all the old non-auditable project paperwork in perfect chronological order that was left unfiled when I was on maternity leave. Basically, I’m trying to focus on doing my job (home and work) well, but not extend myself beyond what is reasonable to try and make it “perfect”, to learn to delegate and trust others. Perfectionism takes a lot of time and energy and some little things don’t really matter that much in the big scheme of things. Near enough and my best within the constraints, is good enough. I hope that makes sense.

    • Thanks, Bron. My job’s had it’s challenges and trials but I think a lot of my time there now is about learning lessons. Lots of them! Hopefully, I start living out those lessons too.

  5. Pingback: Birthday reflections « Mixed Gems

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