“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1)
Just as fast as summer snuck up on me, fall is quickly approaching. I keep asking myself how this is even possible. It’s still hard for me to believe kids are back in school, and according to retail stores, it’s already time for Halloween, with Thanksgiving and Christmas right at its heels.
Can we please pause for a minute, department store clerks? We’re still about 10 weeks away from Halloween, and I would like to enjoy the current season before preparing for trick-or-treaters.
I assume most of you have heard the phrase: The days are long but the years are short.
As each year passes, and the older I get, the truer this saying becomes. The days can often seem neverending, while the years fly right by us.
In our day-to-day lives, we tend to count down the minutes at our desk until quitting time, and we wish away the rough days and dread the days when we have a big presentation or meeting. Instead, we eagerly look toward the freedom of the weekend, a big vacation or family holidays.
We’re all busy. In the rush between work, family, keeping the car and house clean, as a society we tend to constantly look to the future for the next big adventure. But what about today?
Whether it’s in anticipation of my wedding or the birth of my second niece or nephew, regrettably I sometimes forget to appreciate the routine of every day.
In Proverbs 27:1, we’re told: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Why do we spend so much time wishing away today, when we don’t know if tomorrow will be any better or easier? As wonderful as the weekend and vacations can be; maybe it wouldn’t hurt to enjoy each day — yes, even Mondays — for the simple, ordinary pleasures they bring.
After all, we should be “making the most of every opportunity,” as Ephesians 5:16 tells us.
Social media is sometimes a great place to see and share motivational tips. A self-care tip I saw the other day gave instructions to jot down three things you’re thankful for or three positive things that happened to you. The person who posted the tip said it’s easier to put the day into perspective and improve your mood if you acknowledge the good things, despite how small they may seem.
I’ve started doing this — sometimes I do it in the morning and occasionally at the end of the day if I forget or run out of time. Sometimes I physically write the three things down, and sometimes I take a mental note if I don’t immediately have a pen and paper. I will admit if you have a journal and take a few minutes to write it down, looking back at your list before bedtime also helps, and you can revisit your joys the next day, weeks or even years later.
Some things I’ve made note of, for example, are a caring family, wonderful friends, a roof over my head, a job I enjoy and a loving fiancé. Other examples can include someone holding the door open for you or a stranger buying your coffee.
Regardless of how you document your three things, I do think it helps you keep a positive perspective on life and can indeed improve your mood. So often we tend to focus on the bad when the good is all around us.
If you’re reading this thinking, ‘Life is really hard right now;’ I believe there is always something to be thankful for, even when we’re going through a rough period in life. Sometimes it’s during those times when you can most appreciate the smallest of blessings.
Regardless of whether you believe the days are long but the years are short, let’s all remember to take a few minutes each day to appreciate the little moments and thank God for all He has given us in this life.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)