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Carpe Diem

“It's a beautiful day, sky falls, you feel like it's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away.”

-U2 “Beautiful Day”

CARPE DIEM. Seize the day. This is where my head is at right now. Living in the moment. It's Super Bowl Sunday. This year it is being played at the MetLife Stadium hosted by New York and New Jersey. I live in Jersey but I work in New York City, so even though none of the teams I typically root for are playing today, I'm embracing my (inner) armchair quarterback.

Normally I don't give the Super Bowl so much as a passing thought. My two sons and my husband get into it...but really, as long as there are chicken wings and mini hotdogs involved, I don't really care what I do or where I watch the game. This year though, I got into it a little more. It's been ungodly cold here in the New York area, for the last month. It's the kind of cold that makes you just want to stay home under the blankets. The kind of cold that hurts. I'm still on a work-out restriction for another month. All I am cleared for is brisk walking and until the thermometer pushes over fifty degrees, that is so not happening. I'm feeling fat from the Herceptin treatments that only just ended in December and I'm dealing with constant joint and muscle pain that is related to the treatment. The lack of physical activity and this endless amount of frigid weather can make a girl cranky so a distraction is good. And this week in New York City there was plenty of distraction.

Two blocks from my office, in Herald Square, ESPN, Xbox, and the NFL all had tents set up and activities scheduled for each day. From meet and greets with current and former NFL players at Macy*s flagship store to obstacle courses for kids to run through and a field goal kicking booth, the city was busier than normal. It's something I normally would have ignored on my way to shop, run errands or get lunch...grumbling about the 'tourists' that moved too slowly or stopped to take pictures. But this year, I braved the icy cold and I dove in, head first. I walked slowly through Herald Square, looking at the decorations, the tents, the events and I took in the excitement. For one brief lunch hour on a Thursday afternoon, I became a tourist in my own city. I took pictures of Macy*s window displays. I watched as people gazed upwards in awe at the Empire State Building. I pointed the way to Times Square.

And then I really took it up a notch, I jumped up on a makeshift stage and volunteered to answer football trivia questions, in hopes of winning some prizes to pass along to my sons.

Now, what I know about football could fill a single sided pamphlet in large bold font. It's knowledge that I have only gained through the osmosis of living in a house full of men, but I am not easily intimidated. I survived cancer twice. I am raising two teenage boys. I don't get spooked. How'd I do? Meh. I knew the answers handily to two of the five questions. One other question I answered with a little audience help...but the remaining two? No clue. So what? I got my prize and skipped off the stage. My sons were thrilled when I got home (and maybe even a little impressed) by my actions. And you know what? It was fun, it was silly, and I was completely caught up in the moment! I experienced some of the hoopla surrounding a Super Bowl up close. It's something I can tell my grandkids about...and it sounds so much better than, 'Oh, the New Jersey/New York Super Bowl? Yea, I was too busy working to see anything that was going on.'

Last week, my youngest son Connor, asked if he could have a Super Bowl party at our house. "Sure" I replied, "no problem." Hosting a bunch of teenagers doesn't scare me. I just have to make sure to have plenty of food on hand and they'll be happy. As I type this I'm listening to the crowd of kids hanging out in my basement yelling and cheering their teams on I'm in the moment. Dishing out wings, my semi-famous baked ziti, and loads of chips and dips I'm happy and having fun. There are a million other things I could be doing on a Sunday night. I could be working on the shopping report that's due. I could be doing laundry and getting ready for work. I could be scanning the channels for a Groundhog Day movie marathon. I could be scanning the channels for a Groundhog Day movie marathon. But instead I've chosen to seize the day.

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© 2012 Jennifer Pellechio Lukowiak

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