Truth be known, I haven’t watched more than maybe one episode of the seventies series “One Day at a Time,” nor have I seen its recent reboot—no offense to the show’s stars or fans. However, the sentiment behind the title has been a recurring theme throughout my life.
When talking to others about how she dealt with my having a disability, my mom has always said, “We take it one day at a time.” She and my dad truly lived those words, too. While there were upsetting situations that arose because of my special needs, I never saw or heard their worries about my future obstacles or even my condition. They always kept an open mind about my opportunities and abilities. Instead of getting hyped up over possible setbacks that could come up tomorrow or yesterday’s challenges, they approached each day with a balanced view.
Because of watching them, I understood what my mom meant the many times she repeated the phrase. However, it wasn’t until my early adulthood that I developed a real sense and appreciation for it. As my capabilities didn’t progress like I’d hoped, anxiety and disappointment began to well up in me. Like most any kid, I had to realize I couldn’t just jump into the picture I’d imagined my future to be like.
There were moments the unknown element of life would overwhelm me. What would my life be like in two years? How about ten? What if such-and-such happened? You see, I’m a planner, and I like to be prepared, but life in general doesn’t allow for that. Sure, you can buy a so-called life planner, but it doesn’t come filled out with a daily list of what’s really going to happen. You have to add what you intend to happen…so yes, it can often be termed as a work of fiction!
Once this truth settled in, I recalled my mom’s mantra, which she still says to this day. Taking things “one day at a time” is about the only realistic way to navigate the uncertainties of this world. It isn’t a passive viewpoint, either, like “Watching the world go by” is. Rather, it calls for strength, patience, and positivity. It doesn’t mean that you don’t make plans or take the initiative but that the failures of such don’t make you a failure.
What I love most of all about the saying is that it applies to anyone at any time and through any difficulty. Regardless of one’s age or status, we all encounter troubles and uncertainties from time to time, and there’s rarely a quick fix. Thus, whether you’re undergoing health problems, the grieving process, professional setbacks, or any of the various burdens humans face, take things “one day at a time” because just one day can change so much.
4 thoughts on “One Day at a Time: More than just a Classic Sitcom”
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Thank you very much!