Richard’s Almanac: Carpe diem and seize the year, too


I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year’s celebration.

I had all six grandchildren visiting. Four on Christmas Day and all six the next day. You can’t ask for more than that. Santa left many gifts at my house for them. It’s so great to watch their eyes light up when they first see what Santa left under the tree.

I celebrated the arrival of the new year at a local restaurant where the festivities were fantastic. I brought home noisemakers, a top hat and a tiara that were silver and said “Happy 2016.”
So now it’s 2016.

As seniors, we find ourselves asking more and more, “Where did the year go?” and making statements like, “It seems like yesterday that we rang in 2015.”

I believe that time seems to pass more quickly the older we get because when we were younger, a year represented a larger percentage of our time on this planet.

When you’re 10 years old, one year represents 10 percent of your time here. When you’re 20, a year represents 5 percent.

But when you’re 70, a year is only a little more than 1 percent of your existence. And we can look back on more events.

It brings credence to that Latin phrase, tempus fugit. Over the centuries, the poets have dealt with this truth by urging us to follow another Latin phrase, carpe diem.

So instead of bemoaning the fact that time is flying, get out there and seize every opportunity to make every day count. Nothing is worse than looking back on wasted time. Do what you can while you can. Island weather, which has been great so far, looks like it might remain bearable for the next two months. This could be a banner year for lower energy bills.

A warmer winter than last year plus lower fuel prices might give us all some extra cash — nothing wrong with that.

This is also the time of the year that many Islanders head for points south. I think that I’ll stay put for the most part, and maybe disappear to someplace warm for a few weeks at the end of February.

However, I really do enjoy sitting by the warm fireplace on a chilly January afternoon. So I’ll enjoy that too. I intend to “carpe” each and every “diem.”