Make sure you ‘seize the day’

My good friend Jeannine always ends her e-mails with the phrase, “Carpe diem.”
A phrase I had never heard until I met Jeannine a few years ago in water exercise.
With curiosity, I asked Jeannine what it meant. She answered, “Seize the day!”
I was so taken by the phrase that I researched its origin. Amazingly, “carpe diem” has been used for more than 2,000 years.
It is credited to Horace, the leading Roman poet in the first century B.C. To gain perspective, Horace was a peer of Julius Caesar.
Yet, the phrase “carpe diem” is still used today. And any phrase that has lived that long is worth looking at!
I especially thought about Jeannine’s phrase on Sunday as the second day of spring dawned sunny and glorious. The day we “celebrate” our son’s birthday.
And I also thought about both meanings of the word “dawn.” Obviously, the dawning of the day means the sun is rising and light will appear in the sky.
But, on the other hand, spring also is the dawning of a new year–a new era, a new chapter in life. A chapter in which it is very important that you seize the day.
It wasn’t difficult for me to seize the moment Sunday as I sat at my desk writing.
?The Kansas sun was shining magnificently after a lot of cloudy weather. Suggesting the emergence of spring.
Longer days are in the offing. Summer is ahead, and my husband’s garden spinach will grow more quickly!
As I looked out the window, I could see nothing but blue-blue sky, trees and bushes, all lightly-covered with snow. I couldn’t even see our daughter’s silo-house in our backyard.
What a wonderful sight it was! How could I not seize the day!
Recently, I came across an article titled “Enjoy Every Day: Don’t Dwell on the Past or Future” that I had clipped from the March, 1995 issue of “New Choice” magazine.
This 15-year-old article is very apropos today. It doesn’t use the words “carpe diem,” but the ideas are there.
Its author, Eleanor Dienstag, talks about how important it is to live in the present–not regretting the past or worrying about the future.
She says, “Focus more fully on the good things in your life today—each sunset, each friend, each visit with a parent or child, each day of good health . . . accentuate the positive, spend time with others who live fully in the present.”
A formula for a good life.
Dienstag quotes from a television interview with English dramatist Dennis Potter a few weeks before his death. Potter said it best.
“We’re the one animal that knows that we’re going to die, and yet we carry on paying our mortgages, doing our jobs, moving about, behaving as though there’s eternity in a sense.
“And we tend to forget that life can only be defined in the present tense.”
Living in the present tense means seizing the day–the hour, and the moment. And thus, seizing the years!
So remember “carpe diem” today and every day. Enjoy your friends and family. Celebrate nature. Laugh and make other people laugh. And always remember that the present is all you have.
Seize the day–TODAY!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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