Always seize the moment

Now that our children are grown, we have only one car and one truck. The car is gray and the truck is red. But years ago, we had three cars– black, maroon and green. Don’t ask me what year or make they were.
Until recently, I have always categorized vehicles by color–my own and other people’s. But now, it’s different. I know just exactly what make of car I want and I don’t care about the color.
I’m coveting a 2001 Honda. Honda makes reliable cars and they also make attractive cars. But that’s not the reason I want one. I want a Honda because of their current advertising campaign.
In the centerfold of Time magazine, Honda announces “The 2001 Honda Clearance” with a picture of an attractive car. In small print on the bottom of the page, the ad warns “It happens only once a year. And it’s over before you know it. The 2001 Honda Clearance. You get the point.”
The rest of the page is blank, except that someone has scrawled a short sentence with a magic marker. “Seize the moment.” I’ve also seen Honda’s current slogan on television ads. And every time, I want to “seize the moment.” I want to buy a 2001 Honda, before the opportunity passes.
It’s a spectacular slogan. We all can identify with it. Life is so fleeting. Just when you love your life, in the next moment it is gone.
You watch with joy the flight of a swallowtail outside your office window, and it flits away. You see a double rainbow on Old Baldy in the Rocky Mountains, and it fades into nothingness. You enjoy the beautiful orange flowers on the trumpet vine on the arbor, and the next day they are shriveled.
We expect rainbows and butterflies and flowers to be fleeting. But even the things that you would want to last forever fade quickly. You have lots of fun with your toddler, and she grows up. You love your job, and a change in the structure makes it impossible for you to stay there. You have a wonderful time going out for coffee with your mother, and she is stricken by a sudden heart attack.
So if you want to be happy in life, you simply have to seize the moment.
“If I really wanted to BE HAPPY I would” is the title of a booklet in my library. This little booklet has lots of suggestions on how to seize the moment. Each one prefaced with “If I really wanted to be happy I would.”
Contact an old friend and get reacquainted for the sake of old times. Sing in the shower where no one can listen. Plant something and watch it grow.
Go fly a kite or do something else silly that makes you feel good. Rejoice with those who rejoice, without a shred of jealousy. Cherish every special occasion and file it away in your memory bank to enjoy later. Try a new flavor of ice cream and let it melt in your mouth.
And most of all, seize the moment to say “I love you” before it’s too late.
So even if you don’t want a 2001 Honda, take the slogan to heart. After all, you want to be happy, don’t you? So, when you are tempted to feel bad, remind yourself that life is just a series of moments. Make the choice to seize this moment and enjoy the now.
Marie Snider is an award-winning healthcare writer and syndicated columnist.

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