I’m staying at my parents’ house for a few weeks in an attempt to keep my own house clean for longer than 3 or 4 hours while it’s on the market. The good news is that we’ve had several showings in the first week. The bad news is that the real estate market bites right now if you’re a seller. (Read: everyone who’s buying a house thinks you should sell it to them for $1.99.)
On the 1,100 mile drive down, I somehow managed to read a book. (I also managed to get a raw spot on my neck where the seatbelt rubbed it 100 times from turning around to solve a problem, hand out snacks, or pick up dropped items.) I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which has apparently sold millions of copies worldwide and been life-changing for many people. It was a very nice story, and I applaud any book that makes its point without resorting to trashy subplots, but I didn’t find it excessively inspirational. Perhaps that’s because it felt like a lot of philosophical embellishment about simple principles that I already believe to be true. It reminded me a lot of the French novel The Little Prince, only less cheesy. So, while I didn’t love, love, love the book like many people seem to do, I did like it. There were a couple of quotes from the book that were stand-outs for me, maybe just for where I am right now, but I thought I’d share:
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
“The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.”
Isn’t that a lovely way to say Carpe Diem?
So, I’ve been trying hard to just live more in the moments of each day and to do things like play games with my children and not wish they were over so I could do something else. (What? You don’t do that?) Here are a few other thoughts I love about the right way to live in the moment:
“The past of each of us is now inflexible. We need to concentrate on what has been called “the holy present,” for now is sacred; we never really live in the future. The holy gift of life always takes the form of now.” ~Elder Neal A. Maxwell
“You have “today” within your grasp. But unless you “seize” it, it will slip through your fingers like quicksilver and be gone. Oh, certainly, the sun will come up each morning throughout your life, and each day will present an opportunity of sorts for good works and happiness. But no other “today” will ever again be quite like the one that is now in your grasp.” ~Elder Lance B. Wickman
“Learn the true value of time. Seize, snatch, and enjoy every minute of it, for it is limited unto each individual. Live today! Jesus pointed the way when he said, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” (Matt. 6:34.) We must resolve to live one day at a time, and live that one day to the full. Resolve also that we will extract from every experience of this day something that will make us wiser, happier, more efficient.” ~ Elder Hugh B. Brown
So what about you? What good things came with the sunrise this morning?
13 thoughts on “Seize the day.”
I actually got to eat my breakfast in silence today! It’s so hard, right now being 8 1/2 months pregnant, to not look forward to another day. Maybe I should read The Alchemist (or General Conference?? hehe).
So…..are you selling your house for $1.99….’cause, we’d take it! 😀
I think it’s fine to look forward to things. That gives us hope. The problem is when we decide to live then and not now.
As for the house, ha ha ha ha ha. Not funny. *wink*
Thanks so much for your thoughts. I needed that today. I tend to look for tomorrow or a better day… I especially liked the quote from the book about each day being the same as the next. I need to work on being grateful for each new day and the blessings it will bring!!! Thanks
I read The Alchemist about 2 years ago and had about the same reaction you did: Liked it, but was underwhelmed in comparison to what others thought of it.
Good things about today: opportunity to help a friend who just adopted. Closing on our house in 3 days. (We’re buying, but not selling.) Thinking about decor. Pioneer Day this weekend and lots of local festivities. And a nap. Yes, it’s not quite 9 am, but I feel a migraine coming on and I think I’m going to snatch a nap.
Sometimes it amazes that we are such good friends. Just today I was telling Jens that I have a disease. It’s called “I’d-rather-play-with-my-kids-than-do-anything-else.” It’s actually quite serious. It limits your ability to accomplish anything and has the dangerous side effect of turning your children into selfish little toads who think the world revolves around them. So I say seize the day- but for me and my house I need to sieze the day to sort my office, put away laundry, clean my microwave, and tell the kids to play by themselves!!!
I have a feeling God likes your disease better than mine. 🙂
That’s so wonderful that you love to play with your kids. I’m sure they feel so loved.
I’ve been curious about The Alchemist. Now, not so much.
I attempted to play Candy Land with my toddler for the first time today. It was an effort to keep him from getting into and destroying the Scrabble set kept in the same closet. I learned there’s a reason that the age guideline for Candy Land is 3. Epic fail.
I have found some of Paul Coelho’s books great and others just so-so. I haven’t read The Alchemist yet.
On the day that you posted this, the day brought me the safe return of my parents from their 18 month mission in Palmyra. Aside from the madness of trying to make sure their house was in order before their arrival, it was wonderful to see them walk through that door.
Loved this post, especially as I am trying to find balance in life again (yes, again). Things have gotten a little out or order lately and I think living in the present or rather not living in it is part of the problem.
Funny though, just recently I found a cd that has “Seize the Day” from the Newsies and my 3 year old, 9 month old and I have had fun dancing to it in the kitchen. I guess I ought to finally listen and take the advice.
Thanks for opening my eyes a little wider! 🙂
This morning started with a massive flood in the upstairs bathroom caused by a potty-training toddler who likes to flush. Repeatedly. So, reading this post is very timely for me. Thanks for brightening my day! Surely I can learn something, even from the maddening, frustrating, disgusting parts.
I read The Alchemist a few months ago and really enjoyed it. 🙂