Merriam Webster dictionary defines Carpe Diem as the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future
I have done many things in my life, worked since I was 13, sometimes I worked non-stop. So the last year and a half, I haven’t worked that much and I’ve traveled all over the west. Seize the moment has been my motto and if someone asks me to do something fun, the answer is always yes.
Each phase of life is different but I strive to have more freedom and fun, especially now that I am in my fifth decade of life. I work at being present in each moment, like my dogs. They are the best examples of carpe diem. I study them, wondering what they are experiencing, what they are smelling, being interested in their discoveries. I am reminded by them to enjoy the time/moment/day we are in.
What I love about the phrase is the end of the definition “without concern for the future”. That’s the tough part for humans, easier for animals. Dogs can lose themselves on a walk, especially if they are off leash. My JRT, Mick can lose himself if he sees a rabbit. He really leaves the planet and is so in the moment, harm could come to him if it’s around. I’ve watched him in a field when in this mode and it’s so interesting to see him so focused, nothing else matters in the world. Today I saw a border collie this way over the ball. His Mom had a ball in a chuck it stick and then another dog came to visit the Border collie. The BC did not even notice the dog all over him; he was totally focused on the ball.
Artists, runners and more experience this. I recently spent time with an amazing jeweler and she expressed her love of making art, and how important it was to her. I asked her if she loses herself when in the groove and she said, “Oh yes”, she can work for hours and not even notice the time slipping by.
There’s also, carpe diem in being with another person and your dog. Giving your full attention to the person across from you, on the phone with you or your dog when on a walk. One of my favorite holistic Veterinarians Dr. Peter Dobias wrote a great article on being present when you are walking your dog, put the phone on airplane mode and enjoy the walk!
In the meantime, I will enjoy the little moments in life, and when I’m most at peace, walking with my dogs.
Practice today, notice the small moments, pay attention to what your dog does, smell the wind, smile back.
A couple of quotes I like on the topic.
There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly to live. Dalai Lama
The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. Normal Vincent Peale