My Gram uses the quote “Seize the day!” whenever I come to her for advice.
Maybe because I’ve grown up hearing it, I never actually understood the substantial notion behind the phrase.
Seize the day; the translation of the Latin saying, “carpe diem,” was believed to have originally been said by Roman poet, Horace.
Horace actually phrased it, “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero,” which can be translated as, “Seize the day, putting as little trust in tomorrow.”
Horace sounds like a pretty hip dude, and I wish I could have met him. #BCTIMES
Recently, when my Gram used her signature “seize the day!” quote on me, I couldn’t help but think that what she was really saying was YOLO. And then, I pictured Gram saying YOLO.
If you don’t know what YOLO means, I don’t know how you even found your way to the Internet; but for arguments sake, YOLO is an acronym for, “you only live once,” and I’m almost positive that if Horace came back to live a second life, he’d proudly buy a YOLO shirt on the boardwalk.
Some might argue that such an attitude takes away the definite fact that there are repercussions to every action and we should keep tomorrow in mind.
But, I’d like to make my case in honor of Horace (and Gram), why the YOLO approach really should be taken seriously:
1. Being spontaneous is good for you.
I don’t care if your definition of spontaneity is shopping without a coupon or skinny-dipping.
Every now and then, doing something a little crazy, out of routine and maybe even the tiniest bit dangerous, is a great way to feel alive.
I once read that doing the same thing every day makes the years blend together. Change it up. YOLO.
2. Indulgence, please.
You’re a health nut on a strict diet, planning for a wedding, cutting out preservatives, etc.
That’s cool, and I’ll always support any of the above, but please, every now and then, eat the damn cupcake.
Why? Because YOLO.
3. Decision making just got a lot easier.
If it weren’t for befuddling situations and emotionally detached men, us girls would have very little to talk about.
I, for one, love a good analyzing session and always encourage my girlfriends to write out the pros and cons when making a decision.
But most of the time, we know ourselves better than we think. We tend to already have our minds made up but hesitate, in need of validation or justification of our feelings.
You know what I say to that? YOLO.
4. Stop waiting for “one day.”
I had the gift of spending three weeks in Italy last summer, and even though three weeks is better than nothing, that goes by faster than you can say "ciao!"
Because my time was limited, I didn’t allow myself to say, “Oh I should do that sometime…" Instead, I said, “I’m doing that. Right now, today.”
And you know? I did everything I wanted to do while amongst the Florentines. Stop waiting for the weekend, summer, fall or retirement. If there’s something you want to do, then do it. YOLO.
5. Free yourself from the burden of worry.
Right now, you are reading this. You have two eyes that work and a brain that understands.
What are you so worried about? You have a 100 percent track record of making it through tough times.
Even if your bank account is low, you didn’t get that job, they picked someone else for the part, your love life is lacking or your car broke down, you’re here.
Stop worrying. Today, you’re here. And, oh, YOLO.
6. Holding back is for the birds.
How many times a day do you question yourself? Should I send that text? Should I wear the bold lipstick? Should I have said that out loud? Did that make them uncomfortable?
If you have to ask yourself these questions, it’s clear that you organically want to do something, but that whole hesitance thing got in the way.
I’m sorry, but hesitance is an assh*le. I’m not saying we should all be insensitive to other people’s feelings — I don’t think that’s what Horace would have wanted. And, I don’t think that’s what Gram has been trying to tell me since I was 3.
But, when you love someone, tell him or her.
When you’re grateful for something, or someone, share it. When you’re thinking something, say it. When you want something, go for it.
What is stopping you? Tomorrow? The fear of what it might bring?
Well, you already know what I have to say to that.