One Day at a Time (2017) Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz at an event for One Day at a Time (2017 Mike Royce . When Sheila dies, their lives take a dark turn.
Recently on our social media I posted the following quote by Patti Davis:
“It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab a hold of life and let it pull you forward.”
I get really annoyed at the zillions of quote images all over the internet, so I am very selective about the quotes I share. It has to be something that really resonates with me. So, when someone commented and asked others to share what they felt the quote meant, it got me thinking about why I like this quote.
In case you aren’t staying on top of each and every facebook comment and reply on our page, here was my reply:
To me ‘grabbing hold of life’ is the act of getting up every day and doing something . . . anything. So many people can’t fathom that they will move forward in grief, but somehow they do. In my mind that is life pulling you forward – you get up in the morning and somehow you do it, one day at a time. One day you look around and realize that life has pulled you further than you ever thought you would be.
It was writing this reply I realized, at its core, this quote reminds me of an affirmation I love. One day at a time. It is almost cliché at this point, but the one day at a time mantra has gotten me through many a dark time. I struggle with silver linings and overly positive affirmations and over-optimism. But the Patti Davis quote and this mantra grow from a common assumption for me: surviving (and embracing) the present moment is what matters and in doing so we move forward, even when we don’t think it possible. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always pretty. And that’s okay.
I feel some of you shutting browser windows in fear that I am descending into abstract, theoretical hooey. Hang tight, I promise this is real, practical stuff.
On our worst days (and in grief there are many many worst days) the future looks like a deep, dark, meaningless black hole. Getting through the day feels impossible, so thinking about the week, the year, the decade, a lifetime without the person we love can incite full-on emotional implosion. The idea of coping seems like a complete impossibility, while fear, depression, and panic seem a frightening reality.
Probably the most common reference to one day at a time in is in recovery from substances, where it has been prevalent for decades. Interestingly, it has become extremely common in the world of grief too. One bridge between substance recovery and grief is facing the reality of a future without someone (or something) we cannot fathom living without. Imagining a lifetime of moments without that person or thing is crushing. Imagining putting a life back together after the wreckage of an addiction or the devastation of a death feels unspeakably daunting.
Like any good project manager, running coach, event planner or therapist will tell you, even the most daunting obstacles feel manageable when broken down into their smallest parts. Surviving a life after loss feels unimaginable. Surviving today? Maybe.
Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, wrote five affirmations that became the principles of Reiki:
I will never be angry? inconceivable. I won’t even try.
Just for today, I will not be angry? Uhhh, not impossible? I’ll give it a try.
It is amazing what a little reframing can do. ‘Just for today’ or ‘one day at a time’ don’t have to be abstract and theoretical ideas. Living them can make them very real and very helpful in coping. So, how do you do it?
Okay, back to the quote that brought us here. “It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab a hold of life and let it pull you forward.” Most times we don’t see the strides in our grief every day. We get up, we work to make it through the day, and as we step into life it pulls us forward. Slowly but surely. We may slide backwards at times. We may feel totally stagnant some days. But if all goes well, at some point we look around and realize, holy crap. I have survived for days, or months, or years when I never thought it possible. The days have gotten easier, when I never thought they would. It wasn’t about overnight transformations or butterflies or rainbows after the storm. It was about slowly but surely putting one foot in front of the other.
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For most people I know, whether they suffer from addiction or not, the idea of never having a drink again is terrifying. Understandably. Forever is a long time.
I’ve been putting off making this post for a while.
I am having huge issues with this fandom at the moment. The fact that creators (fan art, fanfic, gifs, etc) are treated so horribly makes me sick.
We have to deal with creative blocks, nasty anons, plagiarism of our work and general disregard for our mental health/personal lives and the fact that we are living and breathing humans.
Most of us do these things for FUN. For me, it’s how I cope with depression and escape when I’ve had a particularly trying day.
I will not be made to feel less than because this fandom thinks that I should be producing fanfic on THEIR TIME!
I have signed up for the One Quote One Shot and once my story gets posted I will be stepping back from writing unless the inspiration hits me hard.
I have a tiny, adorable baby human who needs me more than this fandom needs another fanfic. This is his first year of life and I want to experience his firsts with him.
I am still hoping to finish writing Dirt in The Skirt and I have several WIPs but I’m not going to promise anything as to when I will post again.
I will still be an active Librarian over at @thelallybrochlibrary.
I will still post when I feel like posting.
If you lose interest in me over this and no longer wish to follow me - I’ll be sorry to see you go.
But at the end of the day this blog is MINE and this fandom experience is MINE!
It’s amazing how many of us live life with our thoughts fixed firmly in the past, or in the future…
…but pay very little attention to the present.
Dwelling on the past is a trap that many of us fall into, consumed by what might have been or how it was all so much better ‘way back when…’
But by doing this, we struggle to accept the realities of right here, right now.
In contrast, some of us prefer to focus all our attention on what we want for the future. We convince ourselves that we’ll be happy once we’ve achieved X, Y, or Z.
I’m here to argue that you should neither be living your life in the past nor the future…
…but actually start living it in the here and now, taking each day as it comes.
We need to stop letting the days slide on by, and start valuing every single one for the gift it is.
At the end of the day, all we truly have is this present moment… right now.
What we think of as the past is, in fact, our memories of the past, which our brains can, and do, select, alter, and skew. The past itself cannot be changed, much as we might try.
The future is completely intangible and, unless you’re a believer in fate, is as yet completely undecided.
It can only be shaped by the things you do every day, and the decisions you make in the present. Even then, you can never be quite sure what’s coming your way.
Essentially, the only thing you have any influence over is today, so, logically, the present is the only thing you should spend your time worrying about.
Whilst we should all be taking life one day at a time no matter what, there are some situations in which doing so becomes particularly relevant and important.
Let’s take a look at a few different scenarios that we will all face sooner or later.
Let’s consider why taking each day as it comes is the best approach in all these different contexts.
Every single human being on this planet, even the most privileged amongst us, will go through rough patches during the course of their life.
It’s just part and parcel of the human experience, no matter how charmed our lives might look from the outside.
But it’s when we’re feeling low that we’re more likely than ever to start dwelling on things that we or others did in the past…
…or set our sights on a time far in the future when things will be different, and we can finally be happy.
What you need to be conscious of is that neither looking forward nor backwards is going to make you feel any better about how things are right here, right now.
Taking one day at a time means not asking too much of yourself, or neglecting your own needs.
Focusing on just today means that you can make sure you nourish your mind and body, taking the baby steps necessary to make changes to your life.
Whether you’re training for an Olympic gold or a long-distance trek, learning a new skill or starting your own business, we all tend to look toward the day when we’ll have finally achieved it.
We forget to enjoy the journey.
Which is a massive shame because the journey is often the best part.
Having a goal that will take a long time to reach means that you can easily lose focus on it if you don’t break it down into tiny goals and intentions to be fulfilled every single day.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t realize that it’s the cumulative effect of the things you do every single day that means you eventually achieve a goal.
Focusing on your small, daily achievements will help you stay grounded and moving forward, slowly but surely.
Sure, you’re excited about your wedding, or your big adventure, or your new house… but that doesn’t mean you should be wishing the days away.
If we spend our lives trying to make time pass quicker until whatever it is happens, sooner or later we’ll run out of time altogether…
…and we’ll wish we could go back and live all of those wasted days properly.
Learning to savor the anticipation and look forward to something in a healthy manner without discounting the enjoyment that can be gained every single day can make your life an awful lot richer.
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Now we’ve established why and when we should be living one day at a time, let’s look at how.
This is one of those things that sounds simple, but can be hard to do in practice, especially if you’ve spent your whole life yearning for the past or focusing on the future.
Here are a few small ways to anchor yourself firmly in the present and truly live every single day of your life.
Tip number one, and the most important of all, is to ensure that you’re nourishing your mind and body every single day.
You can’t expect to thrive if you’re not giving yourself the necessary fuel and care day in, day out.
When we get into a routine and start doing the same things every day, it’s easy to stop being aware of those things.
Catch yourself whenever you slide into autopilot and firmly bring yourself back into the room and start noticing the details around you, including the sights, sounds, and smells.
Recording your thoughts, worries, hopes, and observations is a wonderful way of checking in with yourself on a daily basis, and getting anything that’s been worrying you off your chest.
Each night, grab a pen, open your journal and note down the important things that happened that day.
Worrying about what might or could happen is, as we all know, a total waste of time.
Worrying about it will do precisely nothing to change the future. It will only make you miserable now and divert your attention from all the good stuff that’s going on around you.
The only goal in your life shouldn’t be a big, intangible one that’s hovering somewhere in the future.
Setting small, achievable goals for yourself every day – and doing your best to tick them off – will fill you with a sense of achievement and purpose when you go to bed at night.
Try writing these goals on a to-do list or post-it notes to keep things visual and present in your mind throughout the day.
The key here is not to be too ambitious and to not get angry at yourself if, sometimes, you don’t achieve them.
There are days when even getting out of bed can seem like a huge challenge. So when you do get up, get dressed, and feed yourself… pat yourself on the back.
There are days when you’ll achieve great things, but the days that really count are the ones on which you still show up and get things done even when you just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate.
When you find yourself forgetting to take each day as it comes, remind yourself that every day that goes by is lost to you forever.
We only have a limited number of days on this earth, so each one should be lived to the full, not spent dwelling on the past or fretting about the future.
Would we slow down, take time out to reflect to find out what is John Wooden; “ Take small steps every day and one day you will get there.
Welcome to 100 days of relaxation quotes for happier, more positive you!
Today, I’ve stumbled on inspiring words by Karen Salmansohn.
I don’t know who she is but the statement resonates with me deeply.
Anxiety has been a constant part of my life, like a shadow I just can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard I try. This is because worrying has been instilled in me so much so that I always resort to it when times get tough.
But forcing yourself to control everything isn’t only impossible, it’s also a sure path to self-destruction. The moment you let go of the things you’re not in control of and let God’s hands do the work, you’re one step ahead towards overcoming anxiety.
Take one day at a time and let each second count. Don’t let anxiety and perfectionism squeeze the joy out of your life.
Recently on our social media I posted the following quote by Patti Davis: “It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab a hold of life and let it pull you It is almost cliché at this point, but the one day at a time mantra has gotten me.