“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”
“What do you recommend?”
This is a question I will never ask a waitress or a waiter.
“Why”, you ask? Because maybe they have completely different taste than I do. Why should I try the chicken they are raving about when I went to the restaurant craving pasta?
And if they recommend Brussels sprouts—don’t even get me started!
I am a part of a Facebook group that let’s you ask questions about the NYC marathon. People ask everything from, “What are your ‘must haves’ at the start?” to “How many port-o-potties are on the course?”
Someone recently asked a question that got me thinking not only about the race, but life.
They asked, “What is the hardest part of the race?”
People began giving their opinions:
“The bridges for sure!”
“The first mile, it’s all up hill!”
“Queensboro Bridge is a bitch.”
“Mile 23…5th Avenue fo-sho!”
Having run the marathon before, I could agree that all of those spots were challenging, but as you read through the answers you could clearly see that the hardest part is different for everyone.
The other issue I had with this question was that rather than getting excited about the upcoming marathon, all of these people were dreading these parts of the race. Yes, yes you need to prepare and train for a marathon properly, but once you cross that start line, if you are already thinking about how awful mile 15 is going to be, you are #1. Missing what is happening during miles 1-14, and #2. You are starting with a bit of a negative attitude rather than going into it thinking, ‘I’m going to crush this!’
Whether it’s a marathon you’re running or you are navigating something challenging in life—take things one hour, one minute, one second and one step at a time. And remember what is challenging for you is personal to you! No comparison needed.
The “one day at a time” philosophy is what I often remind myself when I begin to feel anxious about the future or a challenging situation I’m facing. I remind myself, “one day at a time.” Take deep breaths, focus on the present and slow my mind down because worrying about metaphorical mile 15 when I haven’t even gotten to metaphorical mile 3 is doing me a disservice.
You can not compare your challenges or other peoples challenges to your experiences. Your journey (or race if you will) is yours and yours alone.
If you compare navigating any challenging time in your life to a marathon, remember that people run faster than others. Many times we want to speed up and “run” faster to get to that finish line of our pain or grief. But just like in a marathon, if you start off too fast, you are most likely going to lose your steam…you have to pace yourself.
Take your time when you are navigating your next chapter. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.
Just like the feeling of accomplishment you would have if you crossed the finish line of a marathon, you have that same feeling of accomplishment when you navigate through that life transition you are being faced with at your own pace.
One day, one minute, one second and one step at a time.
Remember, YOU GOT THIS!
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