“Many fine things can be done in a day if you don’t always make that day tomorrow.” -Unknown
When I was younger, an adult I was staying with told me, “The diet starts tomorrow. Let’s eat everything we can before midnight.”
So we did. We ate grilled cheeses, leftover Chinese food, Twinkies, and anything else that called to us from her cabinets.
It was then or never, that was the message, and tomorrow would be different—which of course it wasn’t.
For years, I started each morning intending to make healthy choices, and then after failing to meet my perfectionist standards, decided to turn over a new leaf the following day.
I justified chain smoking by telling myself I’d quit tomorrow. I allowed myself to remain inert by rationalizing that the day was “ruined” because I missed my morning workout.
It was impossible to make big change because I always had an excuse to avoid making different choices.
I eventually gave up Marlboros and binge fests, but I still deal with all-or-nothing thinking at times, particularly when it comes to leaving my comfort zone—and if I’m not careful, it can be paralyzing.
Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you’ve rationalized that you’ll start dieting after the holidays, instead of cutting back just a little starting now. Or maybe you’ve put off looking for more fulfilling work, assuming it would be easier next week, next month, or next year, when you feel less frustrated or overwhelmed.
We delude ourselves when we rationalize that tomorrow we’ll excel at what we aren’t willing to start today. We may never feel fully prepared or confident when it comes to our ability to change—and that’s okay, so long as we’re willing to try, starting now.
That means accepting we may not do things perfectly.
We may feel like we’re making progress and then fear we’re right where we started. More likely, we will have taken two steps forward and one step back—which means we are moving forward.
I don’t believe that life is short; most of us will have abundant opportunities to experience all this world has to offer. Whether or not we actually do that is largely dependent on how we spend our time.
We can sabotage our days by imagining tomorrow will be better; or we can seize our moments by forgiving ourselves when we struggle and doing the best we can right now.
Photo by zedmelody