Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carpe Momentum


On Saturday night, Mr. Becker and I went to see Extremely Loud, and Incredibly Close based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer. As soon as I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. I read it in only a few days, laughing and exploring with the main character Oskar. Feeling my heart break for his heartbreak, and crying my eyes out over the love, the pain, the loss, the confusion and the beauty of this story.
Naturally, I had high expectations for the movie, which is always a mistake when you've read the book first. But a girl can dream.
The movie was good, and if I'd never read the book I probably would've loved it. But I have read it, so instead I just liked it, but it still made me cry and that's always a mark of a good movie.

The thing that touched me the most about the movie, which is a slightly {and maybe surprisingly} less prevalent point in the book, is how short life is. 
How we never know, we just never ever know when someone we love with all our hearts could be ripped away from us in a split second. So fast, we're left reeling, wondering how they were just there one second and gone the next. Trying for months, even years to make sense of it all.
We are not guaranteed a tomorrow, or a next day, or a two years from now, and I think that's why the dreams we dream and the plans we make for the future are so precious to us.
The possibility, the hope, the feeling that tomorrow may not come so if it does I want to make it beautiful.
Sometimes we wait too long to make our lives as beautiful as we want them to be. We put things first like work and money and responsibility, which are essential to surviving, but somehow not to living, and that's an important distinction.

And there lies the rub, doesn't it? We put so much off for the sake of work and money and our careers, so we can live in a house, eat food every night and put clothes on our backs, but when the swiftness of our final scene fades to black, there's always that feeling that those things didn't matter. They shouldn't have come first, and the contradictions are endless:
Don't put work first, live your life, but make money so you can eat, but don't focus on money, your career should come second, but take your work seriously, do a good job, move up in your company, provide financial stability for your kids, save for their future, but you aren't guaranteed a future so enjoy what you have now, work can wait, blah blah blah  until I have an overwhelming sense of CARPE DIEM ANXIETY.

How much carpe should my diem consist of? 
How do I enjoy every moment and still have a good career, provide for my kids, take care of us financially in case we do live 100 years?

I have no idea.

But, what I try to do and am constantly reminding myself to do, is to find a little joy in every day. Something small or simple to be absolutely in love over. 
Taking a walk after dinner with my kids to get ice cream from the corner store, watching them hold hands and count the passing cars as the sun sets over the city in the distance.
Laughing in bed with my boyfriend while we watch inappropriate stand up comedy and cuddle away a stupid fight and a rough day.
Getting a sweet and loving text from completely out of nowhere, that melts my heart and makes me pause for a minute to smile like a dork to myself, in the middle of my super busy day.

I hope it's enough.
I hope it always lasts.
I hope that when my time comes, I will look back at those little simple sweet moments, and feel like I lived a good life, a life I enjoyed and made the most of in whatever ways possible. 

Bob Dylan said "Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast".
So I think you have to find little ways of slowing down the blur, even if you can't always make big gestures every day, like skipping work or going on a 6 month vacation through Europe. You can still enjoy bathtime with your babies, or kissing your man hello, or a quiet night with a good book that makes you cry like a baby. 

I can't deal with all this Carpe Diem. I prefer to Carpe Momento.Seize the moment, and make the very fucking most of it.

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