Just for today

I’ve been wanting to make some changes in my life. I haven’t been happy with how I’ve been treating Jody or the frustration in parenting I’ve been feeling the past few months with Ava. I knew I needed to do something and with the new year feeling like a clean slate and an opportunity for a fresh start, it seemed like a great time to take the plunge.

I’m not a member of any 12-step programs, but I’m acquainted with enough people who are to know a bit about some of the lingo.

I started thinking about how many of the sayings from the programs – like “Just for today” or “One day at a time” – can be applied to parenting and really life in general. One does not need to have an addiction to use those phrases in their life. Maybe other people have already figured this out or don’t need to, but for me it really was an “a-ha!” moment.

As a result, I wrote some motivational phrases to myself and secured them with a magnet in a stack on the refrigerator. For the past two mornings, I’ve gone through the stack to find a phrase that I wanted to apply for the day and moved it to the top of the stack.

Yesterday’s phrase was “Just for today.” For me that means I only need to worry about my parenting or my attitude TODAY. I don’t need to think about tomorrow, or a week from now or a year from now. I just need to do it today.

When I think about it in those terms, doing anything “just for today” seems possible. Just for today I can be mindful of my temper. Just for today I can refrain from making snide remarks to my husband. Just for today I can speak without raising my voice. Just for today I will believe in myself. The list could go on and on.

Today’s phrase was “Live in the moment.” It is very similar to “just for today,” but helped me focus myself even more. Like today when Ava was overly tired and started melting down over something little, I chose to live in the moment and not worry about what was to come, but just deal with the situation at hand. It’s true that I still got frustrated, but I regrouped myself and dealt with her more calmly than I otherwise might have. And ya know what? The situation resolved itself that much faster.

Other phrases I have written down in the stack are “Today matters” and “Choose happiness” (both wonderfully inspirational sayings from Tees for Change), as well as “Parent consciously” and others.

It is my hope that because I plan to rotate through the list on a daily basis and add new phrases to the stack as they come to me, it will help me really think about each thought for the day and not have the affirmations just blend into the “woodwork” so to speak as they’ve done in the past when I’ve had something posted on the fridge for weeks at a time. We’ll see how it goes, but for now I like how it is increasing my awareness and helping me focus myself.

Just for today I am aware and am doing the best that I can.

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22 thoughts on “Just for today

  1. that’s a great idea. I’ve been up since 3:48 this morning with littlepixie and I’m cranky coz I have a long day ahead and I’m already exhausted. But I shall do my utmost to “Live in the moment” and see if I can have a bit of fun today :)

  2. Oh, I love “just for today”…..I’m going to have to borrow that one. It is perfect for what I a tying to change in my life right now. Actually, what I’m trying to work on is pretty much along the same lines of what you are trying to work on. Good luck. We can do this.

  3. This is so timely because just this week at our small group we were focusing on “Today.” When you’re stuck in the past, you totally miss the opportunities that “Today” holds. And when you’re always only looking to the future, you completely miss the meaning of “Today” too. I hope your day today is wonderful!

    Steph

  4. Hey, that’s a good idea with the list of sayings – pick one that fits for that day. I like that! I could use a set of them for my own fridge. With a corresponding herbal tea. Haha! (Valerian tea, anyone? Zzzzzzz!)

  5. Good for you! That’s about all you can do anyway – take baby steps and improve one small thing at a time.

    I often think that the difference between a good parent and a less good one is not that they are good at it but that they do better tomorrow :)

  6. Oh…you’re not alone my friend. One of my favorites when I do have good moments, good choices , good days is to praise myself with “I had victory over this today”yah!!!…tomorrow I will start over again.

    For me this can be as simple as not getting frustrated to the point of raising my voice when my kids are taking 20 minutes to get in the car…..struggles look differnt for everyone but we all have them!

  7. Sounds like a great plan for the new year. You’re very correct about how the slogans can be applied to your everyday life and any situation that arises-at home, at work, at the grocery store or in traffic. It works. You’re on your way to a better life and better relationships with the ones you love most.
    I’m proud of you for taking this step.

  8. Pardon me for putting this here.. I’m very tired, and I couldn’t figure out where to send this to you at… and I thought you’d like to know…
    Seems there’s been another incident with a breastfeeding mom kicked out of a restaurant… and I thought you’d want to let your readers know.

    http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2008/01/04/more-fundie-fear-of-the-boobie/

    Finding this out annoyed me so much I stayed up waaaay late making 2 new designs.. LOL

    Maybe if I get some sleep I can make better ones.

  9. Excellent Idea! I play mantras in my head all the time trying to remain focused (because girl we all need reminding).

    At the moment I keep playing “I am her Guide” after feeling very frustrated in reminding her do turn the light off, go potty, wash her hands, sit nicely … etc etc.

  10. oh this is just a wonderful idea! I so need to do this..especially the ‘just for today’ one. You know I can see a little blog widget with rotating affirmations… hmmm…. if only I was technically minded!

  11. Excellent! What a great idea! I find myself doing “time ins” a lot with my three year old. She will decide on an activity, and I won’t worry about this or that that I *could* be doing, but I spend that time with her. Usually she needs at least a hour, so usually by the end of the activity, I’m gritting my teeth, but I remind myself that this is parenting, and all the “other stuff” isn’t as important to her as this one activity.

    This older toddler age is SO CHALLENGING! and I think 3 is worse than 2!

  12. What an inspiration! I am so proud of you for taking time for yourself to ponder the things in life that are important to you and how you can keep that feeling of gratitude. We should all do the same thing.
    Thank you for sharing this…
    xoxo

  13. good for you, Amy. What a great idea. I’m going to remember that when I feel like things are crashing in around me.

  14. Amy, I know I’m chiming in late, but I have to admit that I’ve been wearing my “Peaceful Parenting” bracelet a lot to remind me not to throttle my 3-year-old!!!! So you are so not alone.

    For me, “Just for Today” has to include letting go of the past. When I do lose my temper with them, I have such a hard time letting go and letting a new day be a new day. I beat myself up and then end up in a negative parenting spiral if I don’t try to let these things go.

    One of my biggest parenting challenges is forgiving myself when I don’t do it exactly perfectly!!! Thanks for sharing your tips for finding peace–lord knows we all need them…

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