Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Carpe Diem

Maybe it's age, or maybe it's life lessons and past regrets, but the phrase "Carpe Diem" has become my new mantra. Fears and phobias I've had in the past have dissapated since I've entered my fifties. Maybe it's the knowledge that I'm on the down hill slope of my life and will not always have opportunities like I have now, that is creating this verve for life and living.
Now, don't be thinking I'm going out to buy a Harley and ride across the country, or that I'm taking up sky diving or hang-gliding. I'm a repsonsible mother of four, grandmother of two and have an aversion to activities that could kill me, so I'm talking about things that can enrich and enhance my life and even bless the lives of others.
An example of this would be the time my friend, who works for Jet Blue, called me to tell me there was $10.00 airfare each way to New York City. The way the deal worked though was that you had to leave on Tuesday and return on Wednesday. I had 45 minutes to decide. I would be in NYC for about 12 hours before I'd have to leave. That was enough time to visit my daughter who lives there, watch her dance class, take her to lunch, shop a little, enjoy the city in the spring, and then head home. It was exhausting, but one of the most fun and memorable things I've ever done. Another thing (I know I talk about this a ton and I'm sorry) but getting certified to teach Zumba at 50. When most women my age are retiring from the fitness industry, I started a whole new phase of my career. Has it paid off? I went from teaching two step classes a week, to teaching 14 Zumba classes in a week - 4 in one day sometimes. It totally wears me out, but I love it.
Little things like buying a pair of shoes that are bright lime green and go with absolutely nothing in my closet, but are so dang cute I had to have them, to going to my hairdresser and telling her to "surprise me", or even showing up on my son and daughter-in-law's doorstep to give them the afternoon off, are little moments in my week that allow me the freedom to put aside the predictability of life and look at each day filled with opportunity and possibility.
From the movie "Dead Poets Society" comes the quote, "Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."
Don't let today be ordinary. Forget the laundry. Forget the housework. It's not going anywhere. Do something extraordinary!

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