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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 81
November 2009
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An Eliter shares their story

One Day at a Time

Although this most principle is most generally associated with the fellowship of A.A. it can and possibly should be practiced by everyone. After all, is not today the only day we truly have? By practicing this simple principle we can realize a feeling unlike any most of us have ever experienced. A feeling known as serenity.

Most of my life I spent doing one of two things, either projecting into the future or thinking about my past. Rarely did I take the time to enjoy each passing day as it came.

When I was young, I constantly yearned to be older. First was thirteen so that I could refer to myself as a teenager. Next was sixteen when I would/could acquire my driver's license. Then seventeen and Graduation followed by eighteen so that I could not only vote but also buy beer. By the time I was twenty-one I felt as though I had nothing to look forward to. I failed to realize that I was using time in an anticipatory way. I had all but wished my adolescent years away. I had not taken the time to enjoy this part of my life. I had had no time to consider what was happening in the present as my mind was always looking to the future.

The next ten years were spent in much the same way except in smaller increments of time. Instead of looking years ahead I was now looking only a week ahead, to Friday and payday. I compounded this by thinking about my past, about all the years I had "missed" due to my pre-occupation with the future. For the most part I remembered only the happy times, trying to relive them for I had not taken the time to enjoy them when they were first happening.

After my divorce I spent the vast majority of my waking hours dwelling on my past. I was unable to focus on the problems at hand. I was constantly thinking about not only the pain I had experienced, but also that which I had brought upon others. By doing this I created a vicious circle. Guilt made way for depression which in turn led to drinking. I was now caught in a perpetual cycle.

It was as though I were driving a car peering into the rear view mirror- all I could see was what or where I had been. Occasionally I would look ahead to see where I was going, but before long I was once again looking behind me. I NEVER stopped the "car", got out, and took the time to see exactly where I was at that precise moment. Life was still passing me by, or should I say, I was passing it by.

A moment passes much too rapidly to be neglected. Although I still "drive" on occasion, I've taken to walking much more, trying/hoping to enjoy the day I'm in. I've learned that a day's growth happens in a day's time. For many years now I have been searching for this feeling known as serenity. The only difference now is that I'm looking for it "One Day at a Time"

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