One day at a time.
I’m sure you have heard the phrase. It is the mantra of many recovery programs and the theme of several great songs. It is a nugget of wisdom I have drawn comfort from at various points of my life.
Lately I’ve been thinking of the line to another song.
“Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come but we have this moment today.”
One day at time is fine. But I don’t even know if I will make it through this day. Even taking one day at a time seems too large of a chunk to break off. I need some smaller pieces.
Like the moments of every day.
So today I kept telling myself, “All I have is this moment.”
I discovered I was a lot nicer to my fellow drivers on the road. I was more present to the people close to me. I looked at the pedestrians a little differently, with more empathy and compassion.
It is a discipline and I have a long way to go before I can truly live in the moment every day. But so often in the past I have thrown away a moment here or there. I have been rather flippant with the minutes given to me.
I have said an unkind word. I have not treated another with honor and respect. I have not been gentle with myself. I have lived in fear. I have given in to the anger. I have not been fully present to someone. I have not watched the sun come up or felt the dusk on my skin when it has set. I have forgotten what the wind on my face really feels like.
In the evening, I can be grateful and reflect on whether I truly took this one day on its own merits.
Until then all I have is the precious gift of this moment.
Author’s note: Midweek Essays are published every Wednesday. Please see the publication schedule page for more information.