Carpe Diem is for the Birds…Not Really…Just Sometimes
I don’t think I made it to midnight last New Year’s Eve as a pregnant lady, so the chance of making it to the 12:00 tonight with an actual baby sleeping in the next room is looking slim. So while I try to make it as late as I can (cheers for making it past 10!), I’m thinking over some things.
There’s something freeing about starting a new year, yes? Our minds categorize memories, so to be able to think over our last year can be a powerful thing. It can be sweet, it can be hard, and it can be a mix of the two.
And then it’s time to think about the year quickly approaching. We collectively take a big, long breath. We pause. We think about what we would like to see take place. We envision what we hope for concerning the next season of our lives. We get excited. And before we know it, it’s go time! I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I feel like I’m constantly making resolutions. I think this is good because it keeps me open to growth, and I’m protected from feeling like a failure if my plans already need adjusting by January 3rd. There’s more grace that way. That’s essential. It’s about the journey— January 1st is just a kickstart day.
Okay, so what have you been thinking for next year? Have you thought through goals? Ideas? Here’s what I’m thinking….maybe you can relate.
For as long as I can remember, there’s been a universal theme of living every day like it’s your last. Carpe Diem. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? For the first time, though, I’m thinking it’s not the best path to take. Like New Year’s resolutions, there’s just a lot of added pressure. The day never seems to be good enough this way. I can totally testify to this because I’ve lived some pretty lovely days, but there just always seems to be something waiting for me to pick at or I wish something had gone differently. I don’t think this is high maintenance—I think it’s expecting a lot from the people around us and ourselves to make the perfect day every day. With this “last day” mentality, we want all of our acts to matter, our conversations meaningful, and our moments spent wisely. But when your biggest accomplishment for the day was putting on real pants (as opposed to yoga) AND vacuuming the house, it can feel defeating. Live several of those days in a row, and you start questioning your identity, purpose, and passion. We start missing the sweetness of our day and the impact we have on the people around us who aren’t expecting us to be perfect.
L.M. Montgomery was genius to write the Anne of Green Gables series. The movies have had such an impact on me that I’ve based life decisions on them. Seriously, it’s why I became a teacher. This is a quote from Anne of Avonlea I may need to write on my mirror:
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
Big fun and spectacular days find their way to us, and yes, it’s up to us to make the most of our time on this earth—but if we are so focused on making every day this day of constant highlights, we miss the moments we’re living. It’s like taking pictures. I’m all for capturing memories, especially now that I have my adorable baby. Sometimes, though, I make myself not pick up my phone because when I’m so focused on getting the good picture, I’m not fully invested in the moment as it’s happening.
So yes, make goals, GROW, be open, try something new. I am. And one thing I’m going to focus on is embracing every day with thanks and not putting a pressure on it that it doesn’t deserve.
2015 is here for some and so close for the rest of us! Are you pumped? Let’s make it awesome together.