The phrase “my life flashed right before my eyes” came to mind as I was getting ready to write this post. As I was going to sit down and begin writing it, I just happened to walk by my wife’s open laptop and saw her screen saver running. She has it set to slowly display pictures of all our friends and family that we’ve shared time with over the years.
As I stood there watching each picture go by, I began to cry when I saw the many pictures of our children and grandson momentarily appear and then give way to the next. It made me realize more than ever how quickly time goes by and reinforced my feelings of how important it is to live in the moment, especially when we’re with those we love. If you think about it, this is how we actually live one day at a time.
I first heard the phrase “living one day at a time” in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Although this was hard to do at different times in my sobriety, looking back now, I was doing it more than I realized. While some days did involve thoughts of past regrets and worries about the future, talking with people at meetings and practicing The Twelve Steps often helped me redirect my thinking to the present and try to be as happy as I could at that moment.
Even today there are occasions when I feel some regret about my past or worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet. But if there is one thing I’ve learned about living one day at a time, it’s to not let the little things bother me in life or remain fearful when adversity comes my way.
Although unwanted events and circumstances have been a part of my sobriety, I have always gotten stronger from them. This often involved using the tools of prayer, people, hope, and self-talk to help me get through them, and those tools have never failed me.
I experience fear much less than I used to. I simply remind myself how quickly time goes by and that Life Is Short. I also try to remind myself of a quote I read several years ago. — “There are two kinds of worry—those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.”
As far as past regrets go; I have made my amends to people I hurt, and today I rarely do things that I need to make amends for. I’ve made great strides in becoming a better person than I was before, which I also did one day at a time, and this in itself makes it easier to live in the moment and feel grateful for everything in my life; especially those that I love so much.