“Count each separate day as a separate life.” (Seneca), as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
It actually should be easy for us to do this, if only we didn’t have the tendency to carry over yesterday’s issues and problems. Life is more like a serial TV drama or the old cliff-hanger serial movies for many of us. Yet if you start each day with the attitude that this day IS your life, maybe you’d be more inclined to live it more fully, love those around you more fervently and enjoy just being alive more freely.
I think there are insects that basically have a one-day lifespan. There entire life is lived out in that day, so it is a frenzy of activities, including mating and laying the eggs for the next one-day generation to come. I suppose that we shouldn’t live each day like that, but if you appreciate and treat each day as if it was your last day on earth, perhaps you would be better able to appreciate the things and people around you and not dwell so much on negative things.
I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time daydreaming about what you might do if you knew that each day might be your last; that, after all would be wasting the precious time of that day. Rather, start each day with the mindset of meeting new people, making new friends, helping new people, dong new things, taking in new sights and sounds and flavors, learning new things – essentially being alive and being more aware of it. Many of us don’t start each day that way and wander through the day like zombies – animated but not really alive.
I’m reminded by this saying of the movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray is stuck in a cycle of each day being a repeat of the same day – Groundhog Day. In that movie, Murray’s character becomes aware of the situation and uses the constantly repeating day to train himself in medicine and on how to play the piano and other thins that he would not otherwise be able to do. While it is impossible to get as much done as he did by repeating the same day over and over, it is possible to learn something each day, to do something each day to be a better person, to help someone or to make progress on something like learning to play the piano. Like Murray’s character, you need to be aware of what you can do and set out to do it.
So today is today. Yesterday is in the past and worrying about tomorrow accomplishes nothing today. Put your focus upon living today like it is your life, because for all you know, it is. I start out each morning with a ritual that involves my dog Sadie. She jumps up on the bed and we celebrate the fact that it’s a new day and we both woke up this morning. The celebration involves a lot of petting of Sadie, which starts her day off right and there is little better way to start my day that getting some of the unconditional love that a dog can share, even if it does involve a lot of licking.
I’d love to stay and chat some more but I’ve got a life to live today. I’ve enjoyed this time that we spent together, but now I have things to do, people to meet and places to go – a life to live.