My body seems to be mounting a minor revolt against my will, so I thought I’d stay in tonight, not drink, not smoke (ok just a few), and just watch movies and chill. Occasionally, I can actually behave as a responsible adult – even if it is forced upon me, screaming like a pre-teen child all the while.
There are limits to what our minds can do, I suppose. In any case, I’m tired of this damn persistent and penetrating deep cough I’ve had for over a month now, progressively getting worse, preventing me from sleeping peacefully every night. I’m tired of not being able to breathe every day, of not being able to breathe at all through my nose. I have no idea why today my chest feels tighter than an over-sized woman tightly snuggled in an under-sized 1800’s corset dress. Not to mention all the other problems I’ve documented which afflict me daily without forgiveness. Ahhhh, the reality of our physical limitations; sometimes it’s an unforgiving and cruel reminder of our mortality, no matter how badly we choose to try to conceal or ignore our neural feedback system.
My body is tired and worn.
No doubt contributed by a lifestyle that pushed every living cell to extremes, constantly. But I wouldn’t change any of it, no matter how many extra days I could append to my count. And reflecting back over the many years, I still wouldn’t change the course of my path. So it is with mixed emotion that I write this final blog today. And with it, my final piece of advice, if one cares.
“Seize the Day”
In the century preceding the birth of Christ, a philosopher and poet named Horace wrote the Latin phrase below:
“Dum loquimur, fugerit invida Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”
“While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: seize the day, put no trust in the future”
This famous writing, even more than two thousand years later, reverberates more strongly today than perhaps at the time it was written. Horace couldn’t have imaged the complexities of life as it presents itself to us each morning. Our technology enabled choices multiplying like waves lapping on a beautiful tropical beach, relentlessly bombarding us with choices and decisions and options and possibilities.
It is an eternal truth; the reminder that today is what lay in front of us, and tomorrow is just an unreliable friend that we yearn to see once more.
Seize the day. Seize life. Live uncompromised.
We are nothing more than the sum of our experiences and the totality of our hopes and dreams, encased in a blanket of flesh, structured by our pillars of bones; brought to life by a breath of spirituality that binds it all together. That is the essence of who we are. That is all we are. Lest we forget what is painfully obvious when our time comes.
So magnify the experiences. Drench ourselves in the moment. Breathe in the grandest of our hopes and dreams, deep into the essence of our soul. Let them seep into our living tissue, deep into the marrow of our lives.
Seize the day. Seize your life. Don’t let others steal it from you.
Never lose your identity, or allow others to discolor you to be something you do not want to be.
Remind the ones you love how much they mean to you each and every day. Although I haven’t seen my Marina in 6 weeks and we will never meet again, I still tell her every day how much I love her and to never forget this tiny, seemingly insignificant fact. There is power in these simple words that escape the ability of our written language to precisely describe.
Bring a smile or a laugh to someone each day you live. As I say in chapter 3, strangers are isolated from us only by the absence of “hello”. A warm smile or the genuine look in someone’s friendly eyes is contagious.
Help someone who genuinely needs it.
Forget about what others think. Or the self-elevating undeserved judgments of the critical, who look upon us with disdain of everything they personally do not approve of. Who cares about these people?
Forge ahead with new risks and never be afraid of something new or different.
Truly respect another’s belief or religion, no matter how diametrically opposed to your own ideology or set of beliefs they may be. We are not God; nor are we the moral judiciaries of life. And none of us is so amazing or brilliant to know with certainty about anything truly of importance in this life.
And true friendship isn’t measured in days, but the sincerity of one’s actions and words, regardless of whether your history is one day, or an entire lifetime. Friendship has nothing to do with time; but everything to do with your heart.
And simply remember, those who are the most angry and miserable in life have only one destructive purpose: to make others share in their own misery and sorrow. Run away from these people, no matter how rich or powerful or beautiful they are.
While we’re not living, envious time is fleeing: seize the day, put no trust in the future.
Seize the Day.