Yesterday

My dad and I used to listen to the Carpenters together a lot and it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I love oldies.

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Alright, that’s all for my thoughts on politics. 😀 

What this post is actually about is the sticker below and a thought I’ve had stuck in my head for the last ten years. (Man, I’m getting old.)

I’ve never quite written this in a way that I’ve wanted to, and not for lack of trying. But, here goes.

I ran a half marathon a few weeks ago. Then I got a couple 13.1 stickers and when I drive my car I can see the bumper sticker in my rearview mirror.

My half marathon is currently in my REARview mirror. Behind me.

My last blog about the half marathon talked about how I’m a different person because of what I did yesterday, but there’s this whole life in front of me saying: 

What I did yesterday means nothing unless I’m still using it to propel me forward.

About 10 years ago I was floating down a river on inner tubes with three of my favorite people in Missouri. My twin cousins and a good friend of theirs.

I was in a stupid rebound relationship (for both of us, actually) and I was wishing I were with James instead, but we were just friends and half a country apart.

So of course, four girls floating down a river, we were talking about relationships when all of a sudden our friend asked me, “You’ve really never had sex?”

Uhh. No. I really haven’t. I’m 21 years old and I’ve really never had sex.

That’s when “Yesterday” first struck me.

You see, to her, having sex was the big line to cross, but the sheltered world that I grew up in said my first kiss was the big line to cross. And I’d just done that.

I’d turned 21 and said, “I’ve never been kissed.” But then, I got in a stupid relationship and I KISSED him. And I was so ashamed. I knew we weren’t going to be together forever–I didn’t really even like him. 

So she asked if I’d ever had sex and I thought, no, but I have already ruined every other relationship in my life, because I just kissed the wrong guy. I could NEVER say I’d never kissed ever again.

That’s when I realized that if I’d had sex yesterday, I could never say I was a virgin again. Even if I never have sex ever again.

So I asked her:

Is it more important what I did yesterday? Or what I do today? Or to tomorrow?

Fast foward 10 years.

I ran a half marathon “yesterday”. But if I binge on ice cream every day for the rest of my life and scoot around in a wheelchair instead of moving my limbs, I can still say, for the rest of my life, that I ran a half marathon. 

So is it more important what I did yesterday? Or what I do today and tomorrow?

I think people find so much value in what they did yesterday, I’ve never or I’ve always or I voted. But what about today?

This for me defines moving forward.

What I did yesterday can only be that: What I did yesterday.

It doesn’t get me off the hook today or tomorrow.

Just like during my race, the thing that got me to the end was realizing I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and that’s what makes a difference in our lives is taking one day after the next after the next and use the good we did yesterday to do more good today.

Then, sometimes, the good we do today is rest

Now when I see the bumper sticker in my rearview mirror, it’s a challenge to me. I remember where I’ve been and it challenges me to move toward running the whole race. To running it faster. To running it stronger. 

What I expected to be the end, the pride, the prize, has become only the beginning.

The beginning of one day at a time.

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