New Day Dawning

How was yesterday for you? Did you have fun? Meet up with old friends? Play in the sunshine? Finish your book? Relax in a bubble-bath? Have dinner with your family? Sing to your baby? See a great movie? Hug your grandfather?

Or did you get a flat tire? Get in a huge fight with someone? Lose your keys? Burn your dinner?

Not to be rude, but it hardly matters how your yesterday was. It’s over.

We tend to hang on tightly to yesterday. Often, to a whole lot of yesterdays. Why? They’re good and gone. Whether you had an idyllic childhood or were raised in a hellish den of abuse, it’s in the past. If some idiot smashed your heart to smithereens, you’ve been trash-talked into embarrassment, or you got fired from your job, it’s done. Over. Finished.

You’ve got right this second, but possibly not one more.

Are you still reading? Phew! Then you’ve been given another second. Good. ;O)

For better or worse, we all lurk a little in days gone by and dream a little about tomorrow. Perfectly normal, but neither matter as much as right now.

We’ve probably all seen a tee-shirt or blog badge that says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” I think it’s a pretty icky quote but I can’t deny its truth.

There are far better quotes that convey the same message. I like these:

  • “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” ~Jan Glidewell
  • “No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” ~Oscar Wilde
  • “Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.” ~Cherokee Indian Proverb
  • “Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.” ~Euripides, Alexander
  • “The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.” ~L. Thomas Holdcroft
  • “I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast.” ~Jeb Dickerson
  • “Nothing is worth more than this day.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


No matter how it’s said, though, the value of leaving the past where it belongs remains big. Huge. Life-changing. Sometimes, even life-saving.

We’ve been given this new day and it will pass soon enough. Tomorrow will replace it, and then the day after that.

If we're lucky.


19 comments:

  1. Good reminder on a Monday morning, Beth. We all wallow in regret about the past. I know I've done lots of that myself. Meanwhile the present ticks away never to come again. Living in the moment is what it's all about as it's all we've got.

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  2. “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” ~Jan Glidewell

    That is an excellent quote, and one I will keep in my mind when I feel the need to wallow!

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  3. Not quite as uplifting a quote, but I think it speaks volumes:

    "The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible in-between."
    ~J. Michael Straczynsky, from Babylon 5

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  4. Beth,
    I have suffered many tragedies in my life, but your post expresses how I have managed to move forward and have a happy life. I have a saying, maybe someday in the future someone will quote me.
    "We're all here on borrowed time...may as well be happy!"

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  5. I read something in a book about Buddhism that says hanging on to the past is like starving to death while sitting in front of a buffet. I am pretty sure it was put more eloquently than that but it it certainly helped me appreciate the NOW. Especially after my second baby, I quit wishing she was this age or that age so she could sleep through the night, hold her own bottle etc. I realized she was never going to be this age again I better enjoy every baby minute!

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  6. If we could all think in these terms our world may be a better place. Then again, I do love writing from experiences I've gained in my past, but I suppose that is the difference...living in your past or learning from it.

    Thanks for this post. Things that make you go hmmm:)

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  7. Thanks Beth. I really do need to forget about yesterday!

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  8. Or as a certain Lennon character once said...

    "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans"

    The cost of carrying personal baggage is great, but somehow people can't seem to find the strength to just let go of it.

    Well writ!

    LC

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  9. For the most part, I have let go of the past. Some of it is so far in the history that it seems like the life of someone else. There are some days, however, when I'm a little lonely or want to be anywhere but where I am, yet too lazy to travel or do anything about it and that is when I wrap myself up in a memory. I think it is okay to do that once in a while. If someone is reliving the same experience one too many times though,whether it was good or bad, it is definitely time to make some new ones.

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  10. Unfortunately a person who ha experienced abuse especially from more than one relationship will be fearful in the future. Easy to say to let it go but not easy to do.

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  11. One thing that always keeps bad things in perspective for me, is looking at them and thinking: How much is this going to matter in 5 years? or even in 1 year? That usually does the trick for me.

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  12. ~as a person who suffers from PTSD, I should read this post daily~thank you for this one!

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  13. @Cathy: It really is all we have, though it sure can be hard to live as we really should--fully present in the moment.

    @Kyra: That's my favorite of all the quotes!

    @Sarah: Oh, that really does say a lot!

    @Cyndi: I'll probably be quoting you! Until we figure out how to get a 'do-over,' I think we're smart to move on as best we can and not turn our backs on happiness.

    @Elaine: It can be so hard not to wish any of it away. Sleep deprivation and overall exhaustion can make it really difficult to appreciate the magic of those baby times, but the are so precious. You are one smart mama. :O)

    @Deana: Ideally, we'd all learn from, but not dwell in our pasts.

    @Gary: I hope today is being kinder to you.

    @Larry: That's my favorite line from a song, EVER. :O)

    @DWV: It really can be nice to take a little trip back in time, just so we don't let all hat stuff hinder our growth or steal our happiness.

    @Sharon Marie: Yes, you are absolutely right. Sadly, it is often the people who most need to heal from their past that have the hardest time getting over it.

    @Heather: That's a great way to look at difficulties and not get overwhelmed by them. :O)

    @Niki: I hope that your future is filled with so many blessings that they drown out all of the hardships you've lived through.

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  14. Great post! Clinging to the past does keep us from living and I have always tried to keep looking forward as much as possible. Sometimes yesterdays do come back for a quick slap, but I send them packing ASAP. :)

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  15. Yesterday nor tomorrow matter. We must live for today and focus on the here and now or risk missing out on our own lives.

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  16. Well, I am going to hold on for just a bit to the weekend because it was a really good one (ha! ha!), but you know I embrace living in the present and living FULLY! Life has it's ups and downs, but the alternative isn't very appealing, so each moment should be treasured and lived as fully as possible. Life IS about the small stuff and I have learned to appreciate that.

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  17. @Sunshine: You have a wonderful attitude. You are vibrant and enthusiastic about life! :O)

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