You know you’re becoming woefully accustomed to getting up at 4am for work when you wake up for no reason at 415am on days when you don’t work, and haven’t set an alarm. Another significant indicator is being tired as hell by 8pm. Is this what having no life feels like? Nevermind, I know the answer to that and its self incriminating.
But hey, what’s it all the kids are saying these days? YOLO? You only live once. Well, aint that the truth.
That phrase – it’s used to excuse the inexcusable and to explain away foolish and reckless behavior. I prefer the original latin version. Carpe diem. Seize the day. That’s a loose translation actually. More literally it means “pluck/gently take up” the day. I’ll go with either.
I struggle with bring present. I live in the past and in the future. But in the ‘right now’, all I want is more sleep or more time or more to do or more fun. I think that my inability to accept my situation at any given time will probably be one of my greatest regrets down the road. I was thinking about this actually when I came across an article about a nurse who worked in palliative care. In it she discusses the five things people on their deathbeds most commonly list as regrets.
- I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself rather than the life expected of me. 2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends. 5. I wish I’d let myself be happier.
They all seem legit, even if they sound cheesy or cliché. Cliches are cliché for a reason. I can see ways in which I’d regret these things if I continued in them. But the one that really gets me is the last one. I wish I’d let myself be happier. How does one do that exactly? I set myself to thinking about it.
I think that allowing yourself to be happy can take a billion and one different forms. It could be something as simple as going for the ice cream you’ve been craving all week. It could be letting yourself sleep in on the weekend when you know you really need it. It could be saying no when someone asks you a favor instead of rolling over and giving in. It could be quitting your job and finding a new career or line of work. It could be giving up personal fears and allowing yourself to grow beyond them. It could be the realization that happiness is a choice and not a happenstance, a journey and not a destination.
It could be any number of things. I think the important lesson to be learned though isn’t about what it is that makes people happy, or why those things make you happier. The important message is to actually consciously allow yourself to be happy every day. You don’t have to ignore the bad things that come along, but be self aware enough to give the good things the attention they deserve. I think that I can do this. I think that maybe in this small way I can “seize the day” back and allow myself to be happy in the present. Even if I have to be up for work at 4am.