Is today just another day?
And tonight after it has passed, will it be forgotten?
Is it a day in the way? That’s a countdown day that you just want to get through because it stands between you and what you anticipate – a special day in the future, a holiday or the weekend.
In the trance of everyday life, we can get caught up with nonstop activity, endless goals and distractions. We lose sight of what matters most, and we can forget a simple truth.
Every moment is precious and every day a gift.
When they were young, I taught my children to frame each day.
Before they rolled out of bed, I asked them to say a prayer of thanks, considering all the good in their lives, especially the people they loved. By beginning the day with their cups half full, they would be more inclined to see the positive throughout each day, and when their cups were full, they would be more likely to share and give.
Again at the end of each day, at suppertime and at bedtime, they would recall the gifts of the day: what they enjoyed, what they received and what they gave.
This summer, my kids are asleep when I leave the house and they’re awake when I go to bed. I no longer keep track of their prayers, and I wonder if they like most grownups and teens have become too busy to frame their days and measure their moments day by day.
Most physicians experience a nearly constant pressure of time. While looking after our patients, there are always competing demands on our time. And outside of clinical time, we may be on call, attending endless committee meetings or managing a perpetual pile of forms and reports.
I must confess that every one of my days – like an overstuffed suitcase – is packed with activity. I sometimes judge the day by how much I have accomplished: A good day is a productive day.
But none of us should wait until the next holiday, retirement, or the end of life, to wake up and live each day.
We should begin – and continue – with the end in mind.
To not waste a day does not mean to pack it full of activity.
We waste this day by not being fully awake.
What gives your life meaning? Are you awake to the experience of being alive – tasting, touching, breathing, feeling?
What are your greatest goals? What are you doing with your time?
What are you doing this day to take one small step in the direction of your dreams?
Today are you talking to the people who matter most? Are you fully present in the presence of others?
The measure of each day is like the measure of our lives, and the unit of measure is love.
How have you shared love this day? Be gracious when receiving it. Be generous in expressing it.
How were you helped in big and small ways, and how are you helping others?
Don’t let this day slip by as another blur of time, another square on the calendar or another countdown day.
Make it count.