Sunday, January 9, 2011

A day at a time

This has been a rough week in a year of rough weeks. My poor dad had the misfortune of calling tonight and getting it all dumped on him. Poor guy. I used to call Mom and vent, cry, and generally have a nervous breakdown, so Dad isn't really used to this.

The issue that has plagued me this week could have long reaching ramifications for Lizzie's education and behavior modification routine, which keeps her on a positive track instead of spiraling back into regression. I ran down all the possibilities of what could or couldn't happen with my dad, who sat quietly on the other end until I talked myself out. "Well," I finally said, "I guess I can't just sit and worry about that now. We'll just take it one day at a time." It is a phrase my mom said to me often: "Just take it one day at a time." I use it all the time, finding comfort in the words I've heard her use so often.

Today, my dad jumped on those words. "Yes," he said. "You can't live in the future. You have to live today. And maybe not even a whole day; just part of one. But you have to take life as it comes."

My wise father.

A few months ago, he was telling me, "You can learn from the past, but you can't live there." Today, he was saying, "You can plan for the future, but you have to live today." Wow, I love that man! :) He's my own personal Yoda, but with better grammar!

I think I'm pretty good at remembering that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. But I forget that the journey is completed one step at a time. No matter how much I long for green pastures and still waters that I passed along the way, or dread the rocky peaks and barren waste lands I anticipate ahead, I still need to be mindful of the steps I am taking now. Today. One step at a time. I can't go back to the green pastures; I can't do anything about the rocky peaks. I can control the steps I take today. Are they strong steps, sure and confident? Are they placed along a path of joy and fulfillment? And though I stumble at times, do I get back up and keep walking? 

I am grateful for the friends and family who have walked alongside me and picked me up when I fell, encouraged me when my steps faltered, called back to me when I lagged behind. In the adoption world, we often tell each other that adoption is a journey. It is. And life is a journey, filled with twists and turns, unexpected detours and maybe too few rest areas. I have found lately that is the people you chose to accompany you on this journey that bring many of its brightest and richest blessings.

Do I have a point? Maybe not. Maybe...if I do have would be this: Learn from your past, plan for the future, but live today. Today is not all that matters...but it is the only part of our journey we can control.

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