Friday, December 31, 2010

One Day at a Time

I guess that's a pretty strange title for the final day of the first decade of the 21st century. Earlier today my Facebook status declared that the first ten years of the 2000s was collectively the worst 3648 days of my entire life and how much I was looking forward to the beginning of the "teens." Of course there were some wonderful moments, even entire 24 hour periods among the others that were some of the best of my life. Those little treasures just happened to be buried somewhere between the loss of our family's business, our entire savings, the accumulation of a mountain of debt, three Christmases spent in a hospital, the beginnings of middle age health problems, dealing with some significant marital issues, the death of my last living grandparent, and the loss of several other wonderful folks who contributed significant memories and meaning into our lives.

This measure of time that encompasses roughly one fifth of my life is now juxtaposed with the way I am encouraged to live the remainder of my days - one at a time. Three thousand six hundred forty eight versus today...or yesterday...or tomorrow. For some reason it seems quite odd and so very foreign to me to think, plan, and prepare in such a way. Daily. Hourly. Minute to minute.

Yet when I look at my life as a snapshot of this moment rather than the feature film version that I am used to it is very difficult to be unhappy. After shaking the Polaroid I take a close look. I see two healthy children who are happy. I see a mother and wife with a good job, a steady source of income, who is beloved by her family. I see a home that needs some repairs but still keeps its family warm and safe from the elements. The faces in the photograph indicate laughter, fun, security, love, and happiness. And then there is a father and husband who has recently made a huge life-changing decision. He looks at peace - hopeful even - expecting good things to come. In this picture I see what is actually there and not what should be there.

Perhaps this new way of dealing with life will be good for me. Maybe it will even help me deal with the ebb and flow of time in a healthier way than I have ever approached it. After all, there is no other path to achieve sobriety.


Eric Fischer said...

"These were the best of times, these were the worst of times."
Nothing of value comes easily- you know that. What is hard won then, is obviously amongst the most valuable.
And then you have those things which are MOST valuable that somehow we come to take for granted. Until we open ourselves to the value that we represent and to the fact that without togetherness, there is nothing.

Again, best wishes to you and your family Bennie.

Creative-Type Dad said...

Happy New Year Bennie. Hoping the future year and year's ahead are better ones.

carmilevy said...

You have an amazing way of making me look at life's challenges through a different, more hopeful lens.

Over the past ten years, I've come to realize that life is a protracted process of loss. Just when we get over losing one thing or person, another crippling blow comes along. We seem to move from one mountain/valley combo to another, never quite knowing what lies beyond the next bend.

As long as we've got great people around us on the journey, we'll be OK. I'm glad I've crossed your path along the way. I don't just hope the next 3648 days will be better than the last. I know. Because you get it. Indeed, from the first post of yours that I read, it's been clear to me that you always have.

Anonymous said...

Perspective. You've got it.