Monday, March 15, 2021

Do yourself a favor: Embrace the Ides of March

At some point in your education, you might have been assigned to read Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” But even if you weren’t, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with one of the more popular phrases from the play, “Beware the Ides of March!”

The line is spoken by a soothsayer who warns Caesar to be careful on the Ides of March, which nowadays we recognize to be today, March 15th. The Ides of March is believed to be the day when Julius Caesar was betrayed and murdered by close friends on his way to a meeting of the Roman senate.

If you would like to watch that scene dramatized, click here to see the way it was depicted in the 1953 film version of “Julius Caesar" (which by the way starred a young Marlon Brando as Marc Antony).

Historically, the Ides of March occurred in the middle of March, but in the calendar of Rome during the time of Caesar, March was the first and not the third month of the year. According to religious and social practice at the time, it was a time of reckoning observed by paying your debts to start the new year afresh.

Not a bad idea, really.

If, like many people, you made New Year's resolutions you have since abandoned, consider today to be a do-over. Whatever bit of self-care needs attention in your life, make today the day you start paying attention to it (even if you've tried and failed before).

Whether it's something spiritual, physical, emotional, or related to your career, the Ides of March offers a clean slate on which you can draw whatever picture you would like.

You could do that any day, of course, but there's something inspiring to me about observing a time of self-renewal on the same day as the ancient Romans.

Beware the Ides of March? No. Embrace the Ides of March!

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