Carpe diem, a Latin maxim, means seize the day. Baby boomers have a tendency of living too much in the past. This is understandable in a way. Physically, we are past our prime. We may work out 3 or even 4 times a week, but the best we can do is seemingly to slow the decline of our physical strength. No wonder we often look back and reminisce about the good old days.
When we are not living in the past, we sometimes fall into the trap of living too much in the future. We worry.
Am I going to be healthy? Will I suffer from dementia? Even if we don’t worry about aging, we fret about running out of money after our retirement. We succumb easily to mass media which bombards us daily with ads about how we are living longer, but, at the same time, not saving enough money to sustain ourselves after retirement.
Carpe diem. Seize the day. The day is today. Not yesterday or the next day.
Seizing the day is different from thrill-seeking. Unless you are a naturally born thrill seeker, seizing the day does not mean you do something so spectacular that makes everyone close to you gasps in astonishment. Seizing the day means living in the moment.
How do you know if you are actually living in the moment? One simple test is to think of the last person you were in contact today. Was it your spouse, your co-worker, your neighbor, a cashier? Now, can you describe what that person was wearing? Did you pay attention?
It is very hard for me to live in the moment because I’ve been reminded all my life to plan for the future, and I’ve been pretty diligent doing just that. I need to ask myself this question: when do I start living the future which I’ve been so busy preparing for?
I have one suggestion for anyone who wants to live in the moment: slow down. Take an extra second or two to notice the people and the things around you.