Carpe Weekend: Love Your Library

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

This weekend, Im taking my niece to the municipal library.  I love libraries: all that creativity, all that inspiration, all that knowledge, all for free!  As well as books, you can often get magazines, films and music.  If you havent been to your local one in a while (or ever!) then why not call in this weekend?  Pick up a title that youve been meaning to read for a while, or explore the shelves and try something completely different from usual book choice.  Whilst youre there, check out the noticeboard for forthcoming events. 

You might be surprised as to what takes your fancy.  You could learn something new about your local community.  You may even discover something new about yourself.

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

Right now in the UK, it’s hot. Very hot (well, hot by our standards!). Hot and sticky. Over the weekend it is forecast to be just as hot, only wet too. This weather can get to us, as can a mid-year lull. We’re over the halfway hump but unless you have a break booked then it can feel like a long slog from now until the next occasion that punctuates the year. So make like a schoolkid and declare this weekend your very own summer holiday! Do nothing, or as little as possible. Loll around. Re-read your favourite book from childhood. Maybe go swimming, or play a game in a local park. In short, remember whatever you loved from the summer holidays as a child and try to recreate that same feeling this weekend.

School’s out for summer!

Pictured: the Emirates Air Line across the Thames in east London, which I went on last weekend. A great way to see the city and it reminded me of the cable cars at theme parks, which I used to love. Admittedly this felt a lot sturdier and less dangerous!

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

I’ve been on a few trains recently after a period of not catching one for a while. I usually enjoy such journeys, partly because I don’t have to take a train everyday and partly because they offer such great opportunities for daydreaming. Yes, I could do work or check email or some other serious, important endeavour. Or I could just stare out of the window, take in the world around me and let my mind wander. Often, of course, a startling insight bubbles up or I find the solution to a pressing problem magically comes to me when I’ve done so, but these useful outcomes don’t happen on tap. Daydreaming is not a to do list item. Daydreaming is freedom. Try it this weekend. Even just a few minutes; look out of window or, better, lie on some grass and stare at the sky. Allow your mind to drift…who knows where it will take you.

[Pictured are some photographs taken whilst I paused to daydream on Thursday – much needed time out during a busy day]

I have half a dozen favourite blogs about life, conscious living etc, and one of them is by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less.  I’m not sure how or when I first came across her, but she has been a regular in my inbox for at least a couple of years now (I’ve done her lovely advent course two years running and am already hoping that she runs it again this December).  

I was delighted, then, to see that she and I were thinking similarly about a particular topic – or, more specifically, a particular phrase.  See, her latest post is entitled ’The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem’; like my Carpe Weekend idea, this plays on the well-known Latin phrase ‘Seize the day’ (Carpe Diem) but reworks it with a different emphasis.  

With Parke Diem, Carver is encouraging literally time in parks, but also relaxation more generally – letting go, unplugging, not always being ruled by a to do list.  Carpe Weekend is slightly different in that certain suggestions might be about not doing but some are about getting something sorted out.  Even so, I hope that it encourages readers to think differently about their time at the weekends, rather than just regarding it as a forty-eight hour period in which to catch up on everything that wasn’t achieved in the week.  That is no way to live and if that is how you feel about Saturdays and Sundays, or any regular days off you have, then I recommend you get over and absorb some of Carver’s tips for Parke Diem!

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

The words for this week’s suggestion aren’t from me, but from a Quaker source. The passage below is taken from Advice and Queries 27, part of the wisdom and challenges offered to readers of Quaker Faith and Practice (Britain). I love the postcard with its opening words as shown in the photograph. It seems particularly apt advice for me over the coming days and weeks; I hope that it speaks to you too. So go, live adventurously in whatever way you can this weekend.

“Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts….? Let your life speak.”

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

Earlier this week, I went on a retreat. It was amazing and packed so full of coincidences and synchronicities that at times it was a bit terrifying. One such experience relates to hand massage. I have never given or received a hand massage, yet for some reason before retiring on Monday night I had an urge to treat my own hands in this way. Come Tuesday night, what should one of the activities be? In pairs, to give one another a hand massage. And my, how emotional it was! No doubt the atmosphere and exploration if the retreat were huge factors in our responses, but both my partner and I were reduced to tears by it. It genuinely felt the process shifted something, unblocked some internal knot. It opened up parts of my mind I didn’t know were there.

So my carpet weekend suggestion this week is to give oneself a hand massage. Take ten minutes, sit somewhere quiet with a towel and some body lotion, and rub, first one hand then the other. Palms, fingers, lower wrist. As firmly or gently as feels right. Stroke, knead, try it all. See what happens…you might not have a spiritual reaction but at least your hands will feel softer afterwards!