MAKING SOMEDAY TODAY
We have all heard people say they are going to take a trip, mend a relationship, finish a project, or take care of themselves someday, as though someday was guaranteed. A colleague of my husband saved all his travel plans for when he retired, only to pass on less than a year after retiring. He never had his someday. Rachel Hollis writes, “Stop waiting for someday; someday is a myth. Don’t wait to have the time; start planning to make the time.” We can choose to make someday today.
Often the culprit is procrastination. In an article Elizabeth Lombardo Ph.D. writes that procrastination leads to increased stress, health problems, poor performance, sleep issues, and regret. It also hinders self-esteem because self-critical thoughts result from putting off tasks and goals.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. If we wait until everything is perfect, we fall into an all-or-nothing mentality which is certainly counter-productive. This holds us back from starting or completing anything. Have you ever heard of anyone procrastinating their way to success? Let’s relieve ourself from the burden of being perfect and make someday happen today.
Sometimes we put relationships that need mending on our someday list. This is especially hard if there has been a betrayal of trust, or a major difference in politics or religion. We may tell ourselves that we’ll forgive that person after they apologize and make amends. However, that person will be just fine whether we forgive them or not. The person we’re hurting is ourselves with our harbored anger and bitterness. Remember, bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Let’s remember that we don’t need to agree on everything to maintain a friendship, but we do need to be clear on our non-negotiables and set boundaries. If the friendship needs to end, we can forgive and let go. If the relationship damage is minor, we can make a date to meet, talk through what happened with patience and empathy, and reestablish the communication and intimacy we previously enjoyed. Why put that off if the person is important to us?
If a trip is on our someday list, we can start by getting needed details, creating a trip fund, and finding a workable calendar date. Traveling is opening up and just setting the goal is exciting, as is the pleasure of anticipation. It can be a trip across town, or to another continent, as long as it brings pleasure. A shorter trip to a beach, museum, library, or park can boost our spirits and make a day feel special. If a big trip is planned, we can share it with supportive friends who will help keep us focused. We want to surround ourself with people who encourage us to take action. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not put on hold.
Are there any projects around the house on our someday list? If we’re having trouble getting started, we can remind ourselves of how good we’ll feel once it’s completed. Home projects can be either short or long-term activities. We have the short-term project of turning our sun room, that needed to become an art studio for a while, back into a sun room in 1 week. Our long-term project is redoing our kitchen, which will happen in another year. Things like organizing the basement, decluttering a closet, or cleaning the refrigerator, can be broken down into small daily increments that produce the satisfaction of completion in a few days. Then we can reward ourselves for a job well done.
Taking care of ourselves needs to be taken off our someday list and put on our today list. When it comes to our health, it’s important to acknowledge that nagging problem and see a doctor. The cost of not doing that is too high. I’ve heard too many people say, “I wish I’d gone to the doctor sooner,” or “I didn’t know people my age could get cancer.” Whatever our state of health, we can do what we’re able to do, and honor our limits with gratitude. It helps to identify the time of day when our energy is the highest, and use that time for what needs our attention the most. Mornings are best for me.
Self-care needs more than healthy food, exercise, and a good night’s sleep. If we’re having a hard day, let’s not wait for someday to give ourselves a break, walk outside, sit on the porch, or call a friend. Small goals are just as rewarding as large ones. We take care of ourselves when we do something that we enjoy every day like reading, gardening, or a favorite hobby. Napping when we’re tired is important. Taking care of ourselves also means nurturing our soul. This happens when we make quiet time to listen to our inner guidance. Our soul is also nourished when we embrace gratitude, practice kindness, laugh often, and love deeply.
Stephanie Klein writes, “Here’s what I’ve learned about “soon”; it’s short for “someday.” We make space in our lives for what matters, now. Not in promises and soon, but on mantels with sterling frames, in shelves we clear to make room for our now.” Every day is a precious gift, so let’s not put off doing what is most important. Let’s make sure our choices are worthy of this one marvelous life, and take someday off hold. Someday can be today.
Until next time – Sylvia