Live life to the fullest. Seize the day. There are any other number of cliche’s, quotes, and motto’s used with the attempt to turn our daily chores into something a wee more adventurous. Imagine one morning yelling, “Let’s live our life the the fullest!” to your spouse as she packs the grocery shopping list into her purse and you head down to the local market to buy breakfast cereal and body wash. Other than the look of concern on her face for your mental well being, I doubt she will be all that impressed with your vigor. There just are not enough adventures to be had at the local market to incite an event that is worth remembering until the day we die.
That is what these words are all about, remembering something so important and epic that it stays connected to our very being. But what does it mean to really do this? How do you start seizing the day? Surely not every day we live has to be all that memorable. Sometimes it just has to be done, like going to the market, or buying clean underwear, or washing the dog; three things that can all be done in one day and perhaps the only remarkable thing that happened was showing off the new underwear to your spouse.
Nearly one year ago, my wife and I found a new house to buy. It was time to upgrade and just improve our living conditions to something that suited what we are now, not what we were then. I would say that this was a seize-the-day time in our lives, and it wasn’t just one day, it was fraught with delay, money worries, packing, hauling, sweating, crying, and finally happiness. All those days are memorable, and some I just want to plain forget. But the event characterizes living our lives full steam ahead, putting away fear or regret, and just making it happen.
And now its a year later and we have a lovely home which still needs lots of attention and care. It will need a new roof. The dishwasher does not work. There is a leak in the basement when it rains hard. We have a yard that is full of bumps, stumps, some nice grass, and some bare dirt. Each weekend we try to work on something, buy something, and are looking now at actually budgeting major spends – something to this point we never really cared to do as we really spent nothing on the last house until it either broke, blew off in a storm, or we were selling the place and had to make it once again habitable for human kind.
So are we still seizing the day? Or are we just going to the market? You see, this could be going on for a while. These things are not cheap, require thought and planning, and sometimes refinancing. We inevitably will spend an entire day pulling weeds, sowing seeds, planting flowers and shrubs, trimming the grass, and hauling dirt or mulch. And all those tasks may over lap over two or three days. By the end of it all, all that will feel seized are the muscles in our lower back. Just yesterday was spent battling the home improvement store lines to buy a few flowers and some dirt. Then I mowed and trimmed the lawn, laid out some mulch, picked up some new furniture from a friend, hauled it inside and the old furniture to the basement. We did end up at the market, bought more than we could eat, ate more than we should have for afternoon tea, and tried desperately to fend off the afternoon nap attack. We worked through our pain and by evening, was able to prepare another nice meal before sinking into our nightly positions in front of the TV before slugging off to bed.
I’ll remember this day now, but only just because I wrote about it here. There have probably been more of these days in my life that I can count, and each and every one of them had something unique – whether food, drink or company. And all of these days were good days, working hard with someone you love, jointly making the place you live a little better than yesterday. But the food, the weather, and all the other details are not what is important.
No, what is important is just living your life. Because your life can be at times full, exploding at the seams, and completely out of control. There will be days sitting in an airport, awaiting a seven hour layover and you have nothing good to read. Or, it might just be an afternoon nap in the sun with the dogs.
That’s living. That is the adventure for all of us.