Carpe Diem

The older I get the more urgent it seems that I suck every bit of life out of every moment of my day. It’s no wonder that perhaps one of my favorite movies is “Dead Poets Society” where John img_0112Keating, a new English Teacher played by Robin Williams, encourages his students to make their lives extraordinary. “Carpe Diem” Keating whispers to his charges as they stand before images of students who had passed through the same prestigious hallways generations before. “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. You hear it?… Carpe… Hear it?… Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
Commute and journey can at first seem synonymous. Commute is defined as “traveling regularly to and from a place and especially between where you live and where you work.” Journey is defined as “an act of traveling from one place to another.” I attribute a more mundane definition to commute. Commute, to me, embodies a sense of disengagement, of excruciating routine and familiarity. Journey, on the other hand, conjures up images of the unknown and opportunities to see new things. We are often reminded “it’s not about the destination but the journey.” That’s a reminder to live in the moment. A call to embrace the now. The problem with living for another day, with focusing on end-results rather than efforts along the way is that satisfaction can be so fleeting. Who hasn’t worked hard to accomplish a goal and then momentarily thought they could have done better or lost themselves in consideration of what’s next?
I was reminded to embrace the journey from the simple act of riding my Harley into work yesterday. It was a beautiful spring morning. The sun was warm on my shoulders and yet the air was crisp and smelled of spring blossoms. The nimble navigation afforded by two wheels provided a sense of sport as opposed to the reclining comfort of my leather appointed SUV. I felt genuine gratitude for the comforts of my life: the absence of hunger or fear, the love of my family and friends, my good health and the consciousness to recognize how blessed my life truly is. I think I just inferred I have gratitude for feeling gratitude. There’s nothing wrong with that. Carpe diem my friends, carpe diem.


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