Some days I look back at columns from the same date in previous years – in part as a refreshment of my memory. It always leaves me with bittersweet feelings of how swiftly time has passed and how easily events and sentiments fade or disappear from my consciousness.
That’s a good self-reminder, a self-tap to the side of the head, and a prescient reminder to pay attention to every day coming and going, so we taste and fully consume every day because their only value is on that day – fresh, perishable, and they never last until tomorrow.
The great time I had yesterday and the day before too are precise and recent in my memory – but they’re over. Those days are vivid in their value; but the work and play and intense feelings of those two days are spent. They are history now. Yesterday is as ‘past tense’ as last year or last decade. Their over-ness is equal.
Sure, the memory is warm and happy, but it’s over. I’ve found, too often for my liking, that I’ve spent too much time in the past – reliving the past, lamenting the past, re-examining my historical record – while not spending as much time on every hour of today.
Take today, for instance …
I published this column early this morning – wrote it, polished it, and loaded it ‘yesterday.’ Planned my day today … yes, I did that yesterday.
Which leaves today as a whole day, a day with a general plan and some specific tasks. Like most days, I’ve planned for, scheduled, far more than I can complete in a day, and it seems that habit is well ingrained. And I’ve added ‘something completely new’ to that roster … something I’ll write about tomorrow.
My point is that today is either a plan awaiting execution or a blank page without a plan. There is no right or wrong in it. It is just day – same length, but not necessarily the same depth or value.
But yes, either way, it’s just another day.
We live them that way, one at a time, delicious or foul – spent, discarded, over, or dispensed to the trash bin. They cannot be relived or revived. We slam the door on them or remember them sweetly – but either way, they are one and done.