Home » Stories we tell » RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW.


Carpe Diem.  (Not to be confused with the YOLO, as documented here in Urban Dictionary.)  Seize the day.

Live in – and thoroughly enjoy – the present moment.

We hear these prophetic sayings regularly, and most of us understand them logically.

Are you on Pinterest?  There are more inspirational sayings there than you could ever imagine, each one making you shake your head in the affirmative, and holler out “YES!”

saying 2

Why, then, is it so hard to really live here and now?

On our personal landscape, there have been a lot of deaths lately.  The long days of services and gatherings are a blaring reminder that each and every moment in life needs to be cherished.  You leave the last gathering understanding how things need to be different.  But then the old habits creep in…. worry about tomorrow, angst about last week.  You get busy again, and things are not different.

In order to pursue your dreams, do you  need to give up living in the present?  Does planning and preparing for tomorrow, while taking into account lessons learned from yesterday, mean that you lose the present moment?

I think not, but I find myself in a moment of personal challenge.  The sands have shifted, and I am unsure of my footing.  How do you stay present, when you are not sure what tomorrow brings?  There are moments where I think “it will all work out”, but other moments when I think “I have lost so much”.

I was lucky enough to get out today for a long walk.  The day was perfect – crisp fall sunshine, cool in the shade, warm in the sun, a slight breeze pushing acorns to the ground.  The Rail Trail ensured no car traffic, only me and the squirrels rattling the leaves.

If I were daring enough to tattoo myself at this late stage of the game, it would be in a visible, non-sagging area, and it would say “Right here.  Right now.”  It would serve as a daily reminder:  each day you live is one less day you have left on the planet.  Your worries might seem enormous, but change brings possibilities you might never have imagined.  That furrowed brow and upset stomach – both are an enormous waste of time.

When I go for a walk now, and Tainted Love by Soft Cell comes on, I should dance, just like I want to, arms in the air.  I should screech sing “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” with Steve Perry from Journey. I should skip when the mood strikes.

Or maybe I need to find a tattoo parlor…

carpe diem

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. How did you get to be so smart?! Loved this. Mom

  2. I love the needlepoint “Carpe the hell out of this diem!” I don’t believe the organization and discipline take away from our abilities to seize the day – rather, they carve out space and give us freedom to take the opportunity to try new things. I remember teaching and having my lesson plans written up and structured in such a way that I would be able to hit all the major points in the curriculum, but then being given the wonderful advice from a much wiser educator that sometimes the best moments, the “teachable moments,” arrive when you let those plans go. And I think the same thing works for life.

  3. What I needed to read today! Thank you for taking time to put pen to paper (or keystrokes on a computer) and share this wisdom with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top