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One Day At A Time


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Got to thinking (Oh No!!! :shock: ) about that statement. Here's what I came up with:

“One day at a time”.

We hear or see that phrase at least once almost every day, to the point where, for most folks, it’s become a meaningless cliché. Or even worse a sop we throw out to someone in some kind of emotional pain when we don’t quite know what else to say. And that’s sad. It’s sad because for way too many folks like myself it’s the key to not just surviving, but for conquering and for LIVING.

But for a key to work it has to fit the lock. And I have to know how the key works. In this case it means the phrase “one day at a time” has to have some real meaning in the way I live my life.

Just over 24 years ago I was faced with a choice. I could continue the way I was going and end up institutionalized, incarcerated or dead. Or I could change what I was doing and face an unknown but, hopefully, better life. I chose door number 2 :).

The very first thing I heard after making that choice was that I had to change the way I dealt with the future … and the past. Consider this. Up until that time I had failed at everything I’d tried. School, career, marriage … everything. So the past, for me, was filled with quilt and anger. Since history had shown I was a failure the future, on the other hand, was a pit of anxiety and despair. With those perceptions is it any wonder I sent my “todays” mired in bouts of depression alternating with periods of abject terror? And is it any wonder that should a minor crises intrude on my “today” that I could not even begin to deal with it … thereby failing yet again and adding to my “history” of failure?

So what to do? How to be able to live my life “one day at a time”? Well, first off I had to get rid of that guilt for my past actions. That took a bit of work and, if I can, I’ll write more about that later. For now let me just say that it took awhile, was really hard, and was well worth the effort.

Now to the future. (And isn’t that what we mostly deal with here. The next treatment,? The next scan? The next decision?) The first thing I had to learn about dealing with the future was that I can NOT control what happens tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. No matter what *I* do the sun was going to rise in the morning and set at night. Rain would come or the sun would shine. I’d get the job or I wouldn’t. I’d find the love of my life or spend another day alone. Well then, if that’s the case then I don’t HAVE to do anything, right? Why take any responsibility when nothing I do is going to make a difference anyway? It can be “eat, drink and make merry” for the rest of my life!

Uh … not exactly :).

You see, while I may not be able to control the future, I DO have some influence over it (at least my OWN future, anyway). I can prepare myself for that job interview, for instance, and show up clean, neat and ready to go to work. I can have my umbrella ready if it looks like rain or my sunglasses if it looks like it’s going to be a “Southern California” kind of day. If I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow I need to make sure I have anything I need to take with me, that there is gas in the car and make sure I know exactly where and when the appointment is supposed to take place. So, while I can’t control the outcome of events in the future, I do have the responsibility to influence influence those outcomes in a positive manner if I can.

So that leaves …. TODAY!!! Today might be difficult. But no matter what I have to deal with … I only have to deal with it TODAY. I don’t have to load the problems of today on to the baggage of the past or borrow trouble from what MIGHT happen in the future. And, usually, I find I don’t have to “deal“ with things ALL day. There always seems to be time for better things. Or today might be an easy relaxing day. Or a day full of the things I really enjoy doing. If that’s the case, since I’ve gotten rid of the guilt of yesterday and am no longer filled with the fear of tomorrow I can fully enjoy the relaxing, joy filled hours that TODAY has to offer.

And, for me, THAT is what living life “one day at a time” is all about!!


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Hi Dean,

Very touching indeed. Peace, take care and God Bless, Thanks Rich

[The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / The Power Of Laughter / United We Stand, Divided We Fall / That’s The Key]

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Another great gift you've given us, thank you. I will share these thoughts tomorrow with a friend at work who is fighting depression. The anniversary of her mom's death (from lung cancer, by the way) was last week, but that comes on the heels of many other stressful things that have added up over the past year and at last she has realized she's depressed. She was telling me today about how she doesn't want to "do anything," nothing at all. (Been there.) I think your thoughts will help. They've helped me. Thanks,


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  • 4 years later...

Bump for a little saturday nite sunday morning inspiration!!!!! :wink: I am in a nostalgic philosophical humoruos mood tonite must be 2 buck chuck merlot that showed up on my doorstep last nite!! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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