Over 2,000 years ago lived a Roman poet named Horace. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest Latin poets of all time, and is known for coining many Latin phrases still in use today, including carpe diem, which is popularly translated as “Seize the day”.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and many people have the day off work. Besides Labor Day in September, it’s the only Monday most people will take off all year.

Because having a Monday holiday is rare, tomorrow gives people a unique opportunity. Miss this chance and you’ll have to wait over 100 days for another one. Miss that one and you have to wait over 200 days to try again.

There’s an old phrase that says if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. While I’m not suggesting that every minute of tomorrow be planned, perhaps it’s worth taking a moment to consider how to seize the day, and being sure to plan that important thing in first.

Your answer may reveal that it really won’t take much. Maybe playing ball with your kids in the yard. Maybe baking cookies together as a family. Perhaps relaxing with good friends, playing a card game, or playing in the park. Maybe calling a relative whom you’ve lost touch with, or simply staying home together just to be.

Since Memorial Day is really about honoring those who’ve died to keep our great nation safe, perhaps taking a moment to enjoy the freedoms they’ve afforded us will bring meaning to the day. To enjoy the beauty of our land by planting some flowers or hanging a flag, or spending some time in solemn reflection and gratitude.

Whatever your answer is, planning and preparing now can help you seize the day and enjoy the memories it will bring for years to come. Fail to plan and prepare, and you may instead be stuck with the pains of regret and lost opportunity. As one wise person said, “You’ll have no memories for tomorrow if you don’t do something today.”

A year ago last week my wife and I spent one-on-one time in Las Vegas. This week we enjoyed looking over the pictures each night and discussing the memories of that day. Those memories are only available because we took the time to plan and make it happen. Had we not, we would have no great memories to enjoy today.

When planning tomorrow remember that relationships can be our greatest source of happiness if we slow down and enjoy them. Also remember that enjoyment often comes from the little things, like taking a walk together or sharing an ice cream cone.

With winter in the past and warmer weather here, simply getting out of the house to go for a walk, a bike ride, to the zoo, or on a hike together may be enjoyable. With new seats in our local movie theater and new movies released, maybe a movie and some popcorn would build some fun memories.

Much like a great artist, tomorrow is an empty canvas and you get to paint the memories you want to hold onto for a lifetime. And with the rare instance of a Monday off, it’s a canvas of opportunity that doesn’t come very often, so don’t leave yours blank and boring.

Thank you to all who have served to keep us safe, especially to those who lost their lives doing so. In their honor, may we all take time to seize the day tomorrow; a day we have been given by their selfless sacrifice.

For more tips on keeping your love alive, visit www.panhandlecouples.com.

Remember, couple relationships are easier than you think, but harder than you act.

Mark Andersonis a mental health therapist specializing in couples therapy. He is in private practice in Scottsbluff at Oregon Trail Mental Health and can be reached at 635-2800 or online at www.panhandlecouples.com.

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