“Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow’s a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
There are some things in life we all love to do and then there are those tasks that require much more effort. You know those tasks that you try to ignore as you simply do not have the time or energy for them? We all have them that is certain. The tidying of my clothes closet was one of them. I had been avoiding organizing it all summer, as let’s face it, in the summer it is quite easy to live in shorts, t-shirts, and yoga pants. Now that I am back to work, I have to dig out my professional attire once again so the tidying of the closet became absolutely necessary. It was a long task, but a great feeling when it was finally done. As a teacher early in my career, I used to have a very messy, cluttered desk. I could never find anything and I felt like I was a terrible example to the students. I have since changed my ways and now pride myself in keeping a very orderly desktop. It is my belief that it is not fair to get after kids to tidy their desks, if mine is an absolute disaster, so I am glad I have improved in this area. It is quite humorous when we do desk cleanouts in my classroom I must say. I do them on a regular basis to help keep the students organized and it is funny because of what they find! The one who never has a pencil suddenly has six, or the missing notebook that couldn’t be found anywhere suddenly makes an appearance, or the permission form that they swear they never got, is there in all its glory. Certain kids dread this task more than others because their desks are more untidy, yet all of them have such grins of satisfaction on their faces when their desks are tidy. It is priceless to witness as they are so proud to show me their neat and tidy work space, and you can tell they “get it,” that the tidy desk option is so much more appealing than the messy one!
I have worked with so many people in the past in my social work career who had a “when I - then I” mentality. This is explained with examples such as “when I find more time, I will start exercising,” or “when my life gets a little less stressful, I will try to make time for positive changes.” The problem is that if you wait for the perfect opportunity, it will never come. An example of this is a young mom who repeatedly kept telling me that she “really wanted to get her family out to church,” but she had every excuse under the sun. “It is our only family day, and the kids are too young for the service and we don’t have proper church clothes…” You know how it goes and I did totally understand her concerns. I explained to her that we had a program for every age group and that church attire is more casual these days, yet no matter what I said, she just explained that when they were older, she would bring them. Well I bet you can guess what happened? Sadly that day has never come and her kids have really gone through some hard times. Her and her husband are incredible people and parents but she shared with me in confidence that she really wished she would have committed to regular church attendance when they were younger, as she knew it would have greatly benefited them and then they would be in the routine of coming.
Sometimes hindsight is 20/20 as they say, yet it is never too late to start something new. My mom always wanted to learn to play piano, but never learned as a child. She took piano lessons at age 40 and was so thrilled to be able to sit down at the piano and play church hymns and her favourite songs as she had always imagined. I always respected her for this as she decided one day that she was not going to put it off another day, but she was going to learn to play piano.
Procrastination is a problem for many people. The bigger issue is as we choose to put off things for “another” day, the dreaded tasks just pile up and before we know it, what was once a mole hill, is now a mountain. In addition, the “another” day never seems to present itself. This then leaves us feeling more discouraged, so it becomes a vicious circle. Many addictions are like that and what was once a little habit, now holds people captive without them realizing. Change is a process and it begins with little steps. Hopes, dreams, recovery steps, and new pursuits can become reality when we decide not to embrace the “when I - then I,” mantra but rather the anthem of why not today?
What’s been on the back burner in your life? There is no time like the present to start looking at it again. The Bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. The cool thing is when we decide to make positive changes in our lives not only is God our greatest cheerleader, but He also promises us to be right beside us giving us increased strength to do so. I mentioned in my last blog that I have made a commitment to exercise more regularly, eat better and read my Bible more often. I am happy to say I am doing much better in all three areas. Have I been perfect in those areas? Absolutely not! Life happens. I am back to work fulltime. My son started university this week. My daughter has a lead role in a play that is two nights a week, and I have been very sick all week. The bottom line is I have had some big reasons or excuses to put me off track, but I look at the big picture instead. If today was not the best than all is not lost, as I know I can turn it around. All too often we let one bad day, spiral out of control and take us away from our goals. Don’t allow that to happen as every morning with every sunrise we get a new, fresh start. I would love to hear what you are working on in your life at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is exciting to think of where you can end up when you make a decision that today is the day that I begin putting positive steps into action in my life. Don’t let seeds of doubt or discouragement creep in. You can do it! Why not today? Today feels like a great day for positive change don’t you agree?
Until next time,
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Little Lesson Learned: Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today. There is no better time than the present.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014