I title this blog "One Day at a Time" but sometimes I lose sight of that statement. This week I had a conversation that brought me back to that mindset.
I guess the phrase is often use in the world of AA, and for that matter, anyone who may struggle with an addiction. They learn to live life and celebrate it one day at a time. For me, the phrase became a part of my mantra when my mom was dying. I can vividly remember sitting by her bedside, after she'd been moved to having hospice care at home, and wondering if it would be my last moment with her. But in that moment, I also realized how much time I was wasting worrying if it was last moment with her instead of actually enjoying the fact that she was still there. That day became a time when "one day at a time" became a phrase for me.
But as life moves along, it can easily get lost in the dust. Because, if you know me, I am a planner. I am a goal setter, And yes, I am a worrier, too. All of those things come with a mind full of thoughts about the next day, month, and even years.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a goal setter. Or a dreamer. Those are part of what make up who I am. And I like that about myself. But, I had to stop and think about it this week a little. As good as goal setting is, I know that I often get lost in the "what if" scenarios. Or the chaos of what will be happening when. I get caught up in all of the possible future events and I lose sight of my day today.
I believe there is balance to any good thing. I can plan ahead for a half marathon race, which is a good idea. But, when I wake up that day, rather than focusing on what is to come at the end of the week, it may be a better idea for me to focus on what I need to do that day for training. Otherwise I lose sight of progress I am making. A 3 mile run may not feel like much in light of the fact that at the end of the week I have a 6 mile run planned. However, that 3 mile run that day plays just as big of a factor in my training as the 6 mile one. One day at a time....
Or how about my schooling endeavors right now? When I think about the long road ahead, it's slightly overwhelming. I don't know how I will do it once it comes to being time to being in classes during the day. I'm not always sure how I am going to afford the classes. And... I have many years to go with this goal. BUT if I focus on what needs done today, that's a little less overwhelming and a little more accomplishing towards that end result. If I waste my energy worrying about how I'm going to do all of it, I'm wasting time accomplishing what actually needs accomplished today (Like starting the rough draft of my research paper, which perhaps should take precedence over this blog, but my brain needed a break.) One day, one assignment at a time....
Or life at home. I have no idea what the future days will bring. It could change in the blink of an eye. The kids are growing up. Life is busy and moving full force ahead. When I start focusing on all the what-ifs, my head gets a little congested. I need to focus on today. Like the fact that the kids and I are going to go enjoy some coffee at Barnes and Noble this afternoon and shop for books. Three of my favorite things: my kids, coffee and books! If I dwell on what is to come (or not to come) I lose sight of the moments I can take in today. I need to remember to enjoy today.
This does not mean I can't plan or set goals or dream. (It does mean I should work on not worrying so much...)
The book of Matthew says "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour your life?...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34
I am far from mastering this. I think I have to remind myself repeatedly, and have since I was young, to not worry about tomorrow. But the conversation I had this week helped remind me about living life one day at a time. With goals, yes. But without missing the here and now moments. Do what is right for today. Every day. One day at a time.