Monday, September 20, 2010

Making the most of life??? - Carpe Diem

For those of you who might have missed Dead Poets Society or Latin class, Carpe Diem translates to ‘seize the day’. I’m reminded of this phrase when I walk past a flat in our neighbourhood and on the sign hanging above their front door is Carpe Diem. It always makes me stop to think, have I seized today?

When I think about this question I can’t always say yes that I have seized the day. Sure I am living in a foreign land and occasionally lucky enough to be off exploring Europe (like on our recent trip to Prague). More often than not, I’m doing the hum drum stuff stay at home mothers do wherever they live.

What I have realised however that kids are fantastic examples of Carpe Diem in practice. Not only do they seize the day but they savour the moment. They take great delight jumping in puddles, pretend vacuuming the floor and throwing their food off the table.

This morning I was walking to school with the lamb riding her bike, complete with pink lamb teddy bear tucked into the bike rack, she was enjoying every second and singing on the top of her voice all of the way. On our late arrival to school she was greeted with a chorus of hellos and excitement and walked proudly into the room like a celebrity, I thought this is a girl who is seizing the day.

I pondered all the way home (accompanied by some more quiet and pleasant singing by the lamb) about how I’m not “seizing the day” quite enough. Sure I celebrate the little victories in life, like learning a few new Dutch words or managing to navigate my way through a telephone response system in Dutch. But at the moment I feel like my life is on hold. Yet again!

You see I’m going through one of my major life changes. I tend to time these with pregnancies and I’m up to my third. In my first pregnancy I was looking down the barrel of going from career woman to a single working mother, a fairly intimidating prospect, but fortunately one that turned out exceptionally well. For my second pregnancy we spent half of the pregnancy deciding whether to move country or not. It turns out what we did, and adventures of which have been detailed in this blog. And now with our third pregnancy and a baby Joey in the pouch (ready to get out in about 12 weeks) we are looking at moving countries again. I really want this process to hurry up or at least be decided one way or the other. However I need to wait until all the cards fall into place and have no control over the outcome.

Waiting isn’t something I’m good at! Sure I can masquerade as a super relaxed mum, but if you scratch below the surface I’m a type A personality going undercover as a relaxed person. Having no control is an anathema to a Type A character. So now you see where my problem lies.

In working out how to get through this time of the great unknown I need to learn some lessons from my children and embrace their passion for life in the here and now. Seizing the day needs to be making the most of the individual moments and trying not to think about tomorrow, next week or next month. I need to embrace the great Aussie saying of “she’ll be right”. Hmmm, now I’ve found the solution, I just need to put it into practice :-).