Carpe The Shit Out of Diem

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Carpe or not to carpe

A friend of mine shared with me a blog post, what she called “anti-Katja” (or anti-skimbaco) post written by Glennon of Momastery titled “2011 Lesson #2 : Don’t Carpe Diem”, and I agree, the entire thought of trying not to seize the day just doesn’t go well with me.

In Glennon’s post she is annoyed by those older women who come to us in the grocery store and look at us with our herd of children and say annoying things like “enjoy every moment of it,” and how time goes so fast, and how wonderful the time was when her kids were young.

Every moment can’t be a happy moment

And I get it.
We do feel like punching that older lady in the face, because it’s past dinner time, and we are just now trying to scramble some dinner fixings from the store, the kids’ homework isn’t done, and one of them is feeling sick and will most likely throw up in the car before we make it back home.
And I’m supposed to what…? Enjoy every moment of this..? Carpe diem?
I get the annoyance, and I get that life is hard and every moment can’t be a happy moment.
But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to seize the moment and more precisely: pay attention.

I agree with many things with the writer, especially agree with the annoyance of people who always find the silver lining in everything, and who think we should be happy perfect mothers who love every minute of mothering every minute of every day. At the same time, I’m the master of finding a silver lining in everything if I want to, but I also can’t stand those people who are standing in the biggest shit storm of their lives and keep smiling trying to tell how they actually like the smell of poop.

Why not Seize the Shit?

There is absolutely nothing wrong about seizing the moment as it is when things are not perfect, and I think this is the biggest misconception people have.

Misconception of trying to be happy and perfect all the time.
Misconception that happy life doesn’t include any pain.
Misconception of not seizing the misfortunes or pain of life.

The writer looks for good fleeting happy moments in life what she calls “Kairos time,” happy time, “those magical moments in which time stands still.” You know those moments, moments of short bliss, which we can’t even remember what they were on the end of the day, but we can happily put our heads on our pillows and be thankful for life and that we had those blissful moments in our day. The rest of her life she calls “Chronos” and describes it as the regular time, “the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.”

Seize some Skimbaco Time

I believe we are able to find an additional time in our life, called Skimbaco.

Not your regular time of nothing special is going on, and not your moment of fleeing bliss, but a time when you take control of your life, and you seize the moment as what it is, good or bad.
It is deciding that you enjoy what ever life has given you for that moment, taking it in and living in the moment.
It is learning from that moment how you can grow as a person, how you can use this moment as a future reference for something even better.
It is living life to the fullest.

Take a mental picture of the good time in life to keep it going that way – or to remember it later.
You will not just have a short moment of bliss, but a mental rush, and happiness of truly enjoying life as it is.

Take a mental picture and notes from the bad time in your life to learn from it, to remember it when you are living your “Chronos” time to appreciate the everyday grind more, to motivate you to make the boring extraordinary, to give you a sense of accomplishment once you have gone through the tough time.

The only way to live Skimbaco lifestyle is to seize the days of your life, not to let the daily routine, not-that-happy life to become “this is what it is and I’m supposed to enjoy every minute of it”, but to guide you to build a life(style) that you truly feel you are living life to the fullest. I know that sometimes when things are tough, illusion is needed, and silver lining might be the only thing we have, but if we let the silver linings of life become the new bliss, we are making the biggest injustice to ourselves – we are denying ultimate happiness and we are denying Skimbaco, living life to the fullest, from ourselves.

Don’t Settle for Silver Lining

I grew up in a home where I was taught to always look for the silver lining. When my leg was broken and I couldn’t walk, I was encouraged to be happy that it was only temporary, at least I could one day walk again. I was always taught to look at the bright side.

And I do, don’t take me wrong, I still do. But it took me a long time to realize that there is no shame that shit happens in life, and that we should hold our heads high even when that happens and seize it, not try to hide it by always finding a silver lining. I‘m afraid I’d eventually settle for unhappy life, just because I was able to find enough many silver linings in it. I much rather have difficulties in life so I can learn from them, and that I will constantly move towards better life balance of more Skimbaco in my life, and finding what my Skimbaco could look like and how it evolves with me.

To me living in a constant “chronos” ending every day with a thought “I made it through” and only finding a few moments of bliss would be settling. I will not settle for “finding a silver lining” in everyday, I rather dwell in the shittiest moments of my life until they force me to change my life in a way that moments of bliss have turned into living life to the fullest every day. It’s not easy, nor fast, and you have to have guts to seize the worst of life to truly appreciate the better times, and really know why you work hard not to live in a routine but you want to make your life extraordinary. Thus I feel like carpeing the shit out of diem isn’t for sissies. You need guts to go through hell in life and seize every minute of it. I think that’s part of growing as a human and part of finding what living life to the fullest means to you.

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert, originally from Finland. Katja shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. She is a board member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, award-winning social media strategist, and a well-known speaker in the social media conferences. Katja has lived in four different countries, and seven states in the USA, and married to a helicopter pilot. Their three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.

Get Katja's first book Instagram as your Guide to the World - How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World for free, and follow Katja's travel account @skimbaco on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Kristen Rigney :

    I love this post. Keep it up!

  2. This is so true, there are many painful, difficult moments that are simply endured. They taught me to keep going, to find what works for me and to create a life I love. Loved your post.

  3. I try to get my point written better as I grow as a writer… and sometimes miss it. You’re right – I never meant that the original writer was “doing it wrong” and while I haven’t read her blog a lot, she probably lives more “enlightened” life than I do, and in that sense DOES seize the moment :) The point what I am trying to make – yes, there are bad, not so wonderful moments – or boring, dull, not-exciting – in life, but I do live those fully too. My post yesterday was about farewell to my husband who already moved to Europe, and kids and I will move.. whenever possible, no date yet. It was sad day to take him to the airport, and I way over dramatized it in my head – I carped the shit out of it! Because if I don’t seize how much it hurts to say goodbye to my husband, I will somehow diminish our love. Same way as I appreciate skiing so much in my life now after having several knee surgeries when growing up, and being told by a doctor I’d never ski again.

  4. K-

    I’m rereading this post after your email and feel like I did misread your point. SORRY! I realize you’re talking about being present with every moment, no matter good or bad. I somehow felt like I needed to defend said blogger for not being as enlightened as you for living in the moment. I read you wrong- feel free to delete my comment!

    Melissa

  5. I have no problem with you disagreeing with the author of the blog but to do so with such emotion (anger?) seems to be the anthesis of what you value. Do you really need to criticize the other blogger to make your point?

  6. If you call me an older woman again, I might have to carpe the shit out of you. Yes, I’m older than you, I’m a glass is half full kinda mom and I love being a mom. Yes, I agree with you. Carpe shit.

  7. I totally agree! For me it is not about linings, it’s about appreciating those moments that you value and valuing the moments you appreciate.

  8. The “worst” parts of life usually lead to or happen when you are on your way to the best parts of your life. Life has ebb and flows…go with it, enjoy it, go over the waves, go through them but never stop swimming!

    Love this Katja…”I rather dwell in the shittiest moments of my life until they force me to change my life in a way that moments of bliss have turned into living life to the fullest every day.”

    Great post!

  9. Great post! I think this should be your site’s manifesto. :)

  10. Amen sister. It takes more nerve to live all of your life feeling and recognizing all of it, than only recognizing only the “good” stuff. You have to allow yourself to recognize the bad to see the good, you have to mourn the negative to celebrate the positive, and you have learn from all of it to to keep moving forward. Great post!

  11. SO GLAD you decided to write about this. I am considering writing about it, too. Life doesn’t have to be wonderful all the time, but to NOT even attempt to Carpe Diem simply because of a few hard moments is silly. I think the author behind Momastery is relatable, but not practical. Sure, everyone can handle their business their own way, but survival and settling is not a way I want to live. I want to live FULLY! I want to find the humor and joy in everything I do, and really go after life with fervor and passion and know I left it all on the stage when I finally exit this life. It isn’t always perfect and roses and sunshine, but dangit, it’s mine, and I want no regrets that I didn’t seize each moment, good or bad.

  12. Amen, sister! Sometimes life stinks. Period. But that stink makes you appreciate the pretty smell after that stink is all washed away. I embrace both.

  13. Amazing post Katja! One of my favorites so far. I have days where I am yelling at myself “One day you will miss this Annie!” Then I laugh at myself. Cause I don’t believe myself. (Then I wonder if I am going to the asylum for talking to myself LOL!) But you said it so correctly. Seize the day. Find the beauty.

    The book One Thousand Blessings (while a blatantly Christian book) touches on this. Life is full of pain and misery. It is when we focus on our blessings that life is beautiful again.

  14. I totally agree!! I think there is so much to learn about life and ourselves from stressful and “negative” moments and happenings that if you try to dismiss them, and not seize them, you will miss a big opportunity. I of course don’t want anything bad to happen in my life, but I do feel very blessed for many negative moments in my life, they have taken me where I am today, and taught me so much about myself and about life.

  15. You know what? sometimes seizing the moment may not occur until after an event due to it being stressful etc. but what is important is leanring form each moment and growing into a better and more loving person.

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