written by Suzi Jacobson, Stepping Stones advocate and 12-step bookstore manager

When I hear that phrase, “New Beginning”, the first thing that comes to mind is the slogan, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’ – a really valuable concept if yesterday included every shameful mistake one could ever make!

I’m more apt to embrace the slogan “bloom where you’re planted” when it comes to looking ahead from here. How about we observe today’s new beginning by looking back and celebrating the journey just completed and where we are right here and now. Because we only have today when we can live and change – not yesterday nor tomorrow – it is TODAY that matters.

If yesterday, last month, or last year was grief-laden, may today be a glimmer of acceptance that while the journey has been painful, this day will include moments of peace and hope.

On the other hand, if last year was one of exuberant joy, may today include a coming ‘down to earth’ to participate in the humdrum, simple acts that are the regular substance of daily living. TODAY will be filled with right now rather than wasting away in regret about yesterday or anxiety about tomorrow.

This day is made for action – all the others before and after are for thoughts only. Every once in a while when I’m doing something mundane, like washing dishes, I suddenly remember a time of great sorrow or uncertainty, or even a churning excitement for when I longed to just be doing something normal. In both circumstances, a calm gratitude eventually comes along to remind me that this is the day I’m living, no other.

It is a gift, this present day. Let’s just be glad and get on with NOW.