YOLO! You Only Live Once


I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “You only live once”. The younger generation uses the newer acronym “YOLO” for the same meaning.

I read this phrase all the time on social media pages.  Every once in a while, I will see a picture of a person I know jumping out of an airplane with the caption, “YOLO!”  Occasionally, I will see a friend visiting a unique part of the world with the same caption.  Many people are busy doing unique things in their lives, because they only live once.  Do these unique opportunities need to be so big, eventful and sometimes dangerous?

This gets me thinking about living life to the fullest and/or in the moment. I suppose you don’t need to jump out of an airplane to define yourself as living the phrase YOLO or in the moment.

Maybe all you need is to remove the guilt from enjoying life’s simple pleasures?  How’s about, “Living In The Now Moment – LITNM”. Hey, I just stumbled upon a similar acronym to my last name.

Not too long ago I went to see a ballet with my mother. We arrived at the theatre very early. This was done on purpose so as to avoid the fear of missing out on something.  Which of course is another highly used acronym, FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.   ice cream

While waiting around for the ballet to start, we decided to have a little dessert.  We both had very early and fast suppers. We found ourselves in front of an ice cream stand. I said, “Oh, no! I mustn’t. I can’t eat that, I’m trying to lose weight”.  My mother mentioned to me that she’s 81, soooooo WTF! Which means, “What The F**k!” I was surprised by her response.  She’s so timely and so accurate.

At 81, she doesn’t care about the ice cream and its effects on her.  It was about her living in the now.  She felt that at this present time with me, eating ice cream before seeing a glorious ballet, couldn’t have been a better evening.

So I ordered a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream which had white and dark chocolate chips and chocolate covered almonds in it. Boy, did I enjoy it! Not only did I enjoy the ice cream, I thoroughly enjoyed the release of the guilty pleasure. If not now, then when? YOLO! This was our time together.  This ice cream and being together was NOW! Everything that night was delicious.

Since that night, I’ve been good to myself with the occasional chocolate in the afternoon. Do I feel guilty? Perhaps a bit, but I remind myself that now is now and tomorrow I will try to go for a run.  If tomorrow doesn’t come for me, well…then it won’t matter anyways.

Take it all in as long as you can.

Lessons Learned:

1. The new cool acronyms:  YOLO, FOMO, WTF.

2.  Remove the guilt and live more in the moment of simple pleasures.

3. Don’t worry about tomorrow, live for today.  Live for this moment now.

4. The mustn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t are usually rules you have created for yourself. Do you really need to live with these rules?

5. Take that special someone in your life and go eat a big, giant, insane ice cream together! Giggle and be silly, then take a nice long walk with your heads held high.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column. 

She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  Please visit her website  www.suzannereislerlitwin.com  to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.


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