And yes, when I say 'carp,' I mean carp. Not like that one scientific journal article I got in for editing a year or so ago, where the authors had studied the genetics of a pathogen that affects Asian carp, but had an extreme typo moment somewhere along the way.
Now, mind you, I speak English with some flair, but I can barely scramble my way through ordering a burger, asking for the bathroom, and announcing that I can't find my Mommy in French and Spanish. So I try really hard to give credit where it's due when my international clients write a technical article in a language that isn't their native tongue. But an entire article about commercial farming of "crap" as an important food source, and how to protect it from pathogens? Yeah. I got the giggles. Sue me.
And then there was that SNL skit many years ago, making fun of douche commercials--with all the waves-crashing-on-the-beach imagery, a pretty woman in a flowing white sundress, and a ponderous voiceover asking, "You know those days when you smell like a week-dead carp that's been baking out in the sun … ?"
So, yeah, as much as I love koi ponds and good Japanese-inspired tattoos, the word "carp" invariably hits me right in the funnies ... except when it's wrapped up in Latin to form that old cliche: Carpe Diem. Which I've been thinking about recently.
You see, over the past few years I've made a conscious effort to live in the moment and enjoy each day, rather than always looking forward, making plans and setting big, sweeping goals. Not that there's anything wrong with big goals! But the way I do them tends to stress me out and leave me always feeling like I'm running to catch up with the stuffed rabbit up ahead on the racetrack, and the stupid long-eared bugger is always moving on, out of reach. So I make goals, but I try to give myself permission to miss them now and then, and I remind myself to find something to like about even the crappiest (carpiest?) of days.
However, I've recently discovered that this, too, has its pitfalls, because I've been so good about appreciating each day of the past few years, that I find myself comparing the now to the then, and getting stressed about how different our new reality suddenly looks. Lazy morning cuddles didn't used to involve a small person wanting to latch onto a boob with the gusto of a piranha; fooling around didn't used to require NATO-level strategic planning; and sleeping in used to be an actual option. And while these are all small things in the grand scheme, especially when compared to the awesomeness of having Wallaby in our lives, when you combine those small things with hormone poisoning and lack of sleep … well, let's just say that as much as I know that whining is neither attractive nor productive, the other night it seemed like the only way to go.
For a while, anyway.
A very short while.
Because even stressed and hormonal, I know darn well that I wouldn't change a thing about where I've been, where I am, or where I'm going. I love my big man (working downstairs now in his warm little cave), my little man (who just spit up on me, missing three burp cloths to nail my shirt with unerring accuracy, because he rocks), and the world I've built for myself. Maybe today doesn't look like this same date a year ago, but this time next year won't look the same, either. And that's a Very Good Thing.
So carpe the diem, ReaderFriends, even if it's Monday, the weather sucks (at least here in New England), and the cat barfed in your shoe and you didn't notice until you were halfway out the door. Today is a good day. And come nap time, there's a new book to write, a little at a time--ten minutes here, a hundred words there, until they all add up into the next story I want to tell!