I think about carpe dieming my life a lot. Maybe it’s an enneagram 7 thing, just who I am, or both. I chose the blog name Cherish 365 (meaning cherish every day) years ago because I believed it. I believed that cherishing every day is imperative. Somewhere between the global pandemic and my rise in awareness of phrases like “gaslighting” and “toxic positivity” I wondered if I was a part of the problem, and stopped talking about cherishing every day.
I was afraid of making someone feel bad, unintentionally hurting feelings, or accidentally triggering a shame spiral. I retreated, tucked that part of me away, spun my dimmer switch and stopped piping in with positive outlooks, suggestions, or ideas. At first I kept them to myself. I focused on empathizing with others (a muscle I’ve really needed to exercise) and listening. I’d try to feel what they felt, and nod in agreement instead of offering honest advice or trying to help devise solutions.
I carried on for months. Years. After awhile I noticed even my own internal outlooks became less and less positive. I was less authentically myself. I went from holding my tongue to losing my voice.
Then I found myself in an unusual fog.—To be fair, we were going through a lot of changes ourselves. My husband left his career of 9 years, Jayda broke her arm the morning of cheer tryouts, and we lost our beloved Snoop dog. I wasn’t exactly feeling my usual chipper self. But I also was having a harder time bouncing back. Obviously everyone handles grief and stress differently. I am self aware enough to know that I don’t like sitting in my emotions or feeling bad for long. I was ready to process and do what I needed to do to get back to feeling like myself.
After 3 months of meditating, hydrating, 6 months of running, a 10K race and a new piano hobby, I was starting to get there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my self-care was a 10, but do you ever just KNOW when you’re in your flow and you are SO present, grateful for what you have and you have the perspective to be confident that everything is going to work out the way it’s suppose to, and all of your insecurities melt away? Just me? Either way, THAT is the flow I’m talking about.
Getting Back to Me
There’s a few things that when done consistently get me back there:
- Prayer: So simple, but easily forgotten. This is my go-to.
- Meditation: Slowing down my breath and mind which can get going a million miles a minute.
- Reading something uplifting: Preferably a memoir of someone else’s lived experience I can appreciate.
- Being creative: Whether it’s photography, video editing, playing piano, or writing. But I’ve realized doing it in a way that doesn’t facilitate external validation (ie: Instagram likes/views) is so important to me. Just doing it for the love of it.
- Exercise: As much as I hate to admit it, those freakin endorphins do work.
- Gratitude: This starts as an action but becomes more of a way of living.
Ok now back to carpe dieming this life. Have you seen that movie Soul? Do you remember when 22 says “Maybe skywatching can be my spark, or walking. I’m really good at walking!” And Joe says “Those really aren’t purposes 22, they’re just regular old living.” Joe recalls this conversation later and has an epiphany. I really need to do my own personal deep dive about this movie sometime but the point is… Appreciating “regular old living” is it.
I am hesitant how to word this part because I don’t want to send or call negative energy out into the universe but I’ll just say this… life is freaking fragile. Time is limited. We don’t know how long we have and every. single. day is a gift. It truly is. You can insert a dozen cheesy quotes here about the present being a gift etc etc etc. but it legit is. I am so keenly aware of this that the knowledge of it burns at my heart and soul every single day. Some might think that this idea triggers guilt. And might pressure me try to make every day “perfect,” but it doesn’t. Not for me. It just makes me APPRECIATE every day like the precious limited resource it is.
Lee Lee’s tantrums don’t feel as daunting when I am experiencing them with the wisdom knowing this is a mere blip in my life that will be shortly forgotten, and probably someday looked back on as funny.
I’m not ignoring, negating or silencing those real frustrations. I am simply choosing a different perspective for myself.
I read this quote in the book “The One Thing” a couple years ago and it struck me again last night.
“When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret…People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.”
I don’t want to look back and think I didn’t appreciate each season of my life. Currently I’m up to my neck in the “Parenting Young Children” season of life. It’s not easy. But it’s also not going to last forever. Maybe this is just an open letter to remind myself of this, and anyone else who needs it.
I guess what I’m saying is none of us know how long we have. I’m reclaiming my blog name, my brand, and what my heart and soul are screaming at me every day. I’m going to carpe diem my life. I am going to suck in every last drop of joy the universe has to offer me and dance in its downpour. I will unapologetically Cherish Every Day.