Tag Archives: carpe diem

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND CARPE DIEM!

I stopped at one of the services on the M4 on last, wet, grey Sunday morning en route to taking my daughter to Uni in Bristol.

The queue at Costa Coffee was 11 deep, but I noticed that there was another Costa coffee round the corner.  Taking the decision that the queue round the corner was likely to be shorter, I slipped out of my place in the queue and found myself behind just one man, who looked strangely familiar…

My Facebook friends will know that the Carpe Diem bit of this story was to sidle up and ask if I was talking to a Stanley Tucci lookalike or the real deal. It was the real deal (‘A’ List Hollywood movie star), and turns out he was also taking his daughter to University and we had a convivial chat. My daughter was dead impressed and will carry that as a particular memory of her trip to Uni.

Now I realise this is all terribly shallow, but I think there are two important lessons I took away from the encounter.

1. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

If I wasn’t keeping my mind and eyes open, I would not have spotted that there was an alternative to the queue I was standing in, nor taken the decision to move

2. CARPE DIEM

I could have been backwards in coming forwards, and missed an opportunity to create a fun and unique memory for my daughter.

Although the outcome of taking these decisions in this case was not earth shattering, like many simple principles, these are profound in their possibilities.

In my life, some of the biggest changes have come about because I was prepared to do one or both of the above. Sometimes the risks have been much greater than they were here, and yet often the rewards way outweigh the risks we are asked to take in living life more fully, whatever that may mean to each of us….

I would love to hear about your ‘Carpe Diem’ moments, seized or lost!

If I thought this might be my last Autumn…..

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Written after hearing that a very dear friend has secondary lung and bone cancer….

I would drink in the reds and russets of the leaves by the river on my morning walks

And revel in the incandescent light

Burning through the morning mist-

I would savour the damp earth fungus scents

And eat blackberries, blood stained

And apples, crisp from the tree, and stolen plums from the neighbour’s garden.IMG_1585

I would get up and climb a mountain, go rowing, play tennis – revel in the power of my limbs – if they worked.

I would tell all my loved ones that they were just that – loved – dearly and deeply

I would tell those who had blessed me how much it meant to me,

And let those who had influenced and changed my life know what part they had played in the canvas of my life, and

How their gifts had passed from them to me and onto many others, like the ripples

Of a stone tossed into the water.

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 I would ask forgiveness of those whom I had hurt

And set the record straight where misunderstandings had occurred.

I would plant….

Trees and roses and jasmine and honeysuckle..

And spring bulbs to celebrate the continuation of life after death,

And so that someone might be blessed by the rich scent of rose, or the dappled shade of a tree, the miracle of colour after a grey winter..

And maybe think of me, and grieve and be glad for my loss and my life.

I would paint pictures and write stories and poems for my daughter

That tell her important things I would like her to know

And give her wings to soar, glide and divebomb through this life-

And letters for her special occasions – graduation, marriage?,children?

So that she would deeply understand that

love does not end with deathIMG_1604

 I would make huge collages of our years together

And make great memories from our great memories…

 I would notice the little things about her every day

And let her know how beautiful she is, body and soul,

And how much she is loved and will always be loved,

And pray that she will be able to take that love and know that she is deeply worthy of being loved, of connection.. 

IMG_1699And if I had no energy, I would ask her to sit with me by the fire and read to me,

Or listen to heartbreakingly beautiful music,

And watch our favourite films.

 I would stop sweating the small stuff!

I would speak kindly to the fear that rises with me on waking

And know that I have faced my biggest fears and survived them.

 And if I had any energy left, I would try and change the world, to leave it a better IMG_1756place…………………………………………………

 But who knows our allotted span of days?

And if that is what I would do, maybe now is a good time to start!