Monday, February 7, 2011

Is Today Your ONE DAY?

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

I read a wonderful book not too long ago called One Day by David Nicholls. One Day is the story of Emma and Dexter who meet for the fist time on the night of their college graduation. Choice and circumstance force them to go their separate ways the day after they meet. Readers follow the trajectory their lives take from that fateful moment to where Emma and Dexter find themselves on that one day twenty years later.

After recovering from the hangover that all good/funny/heartrending stories leave me with, I realized that Nicholls’ book left me with something else. It made me think about my own paper chain of days and consider if I had already had my own “one day,” that one moment where the course of my life was altered forever.

Having more than thirteen thousand days to choose from made that somewhat difficult. Was it the day I was born? Was it the day I got married? Was it the day I sold my car, bought a plane ticket to Europe and stuffed my backpack with a borrowed copy of “Frommer’s Europe on $50 a day?” It seemed like an impossible choice. To make such a decision would mean deeming one day more important than another. Did my life change more the first time I gave birth than the second?

I also wondered if such a day had to be memorable. Might it not be a day filled with tiny nothings? Did spilling my coffee on my shirt yesterday and leaving ten minutes later than usual save my life? Did flossing two seconds faster last night doom me?

In the end, I found that as objective as I tried to be, it was impossible to weigh one day versus another. Each was inextricably linked to the next – which made me think: What if our “one day” was not “a” day, but every single one that we live? What if we steered the course of the rest of our life from the moment we yawned, woke up, and stretched our hands over our head? Would the day look, feel, smell or taste different?

What does your day taste like so far and what are you planning to do with it?

17 comments:

EQuanimity said...

"Old times" never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day in the year, and that's better. ~George E. Woodberry

locke said...

After sixty years on this planet, my day should rightly be at its twilight now, but by the looks of it, my sun has no intention of setting. I wonder if this means I still have time to make hay?

Jennifer Walkup said...

I have no idea what day I'd choose, but I had to comment as I LOVED that book so much. I think it was my favorite of last year.:)

Catherine Stine said...

One day building on the last; one word building on another to create an entire novel. Pearls on a strand. All beautiful, every one.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Every day matters. The older I get, the more I'm really understanding how important it is to appreciate each day, even if it's just filled with little things. Those little things add up, and not every day can be huge, you know?

Great post!

kellyhashway said...

Little things tend to make my day. The other day, my daughter was so happy she made up songs and sang off and on all day long. That had me smiling and wishing the day didn't have to end.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

EQ - So true. Mornings are full of possibility! :)
Locke - Absolutely! *sends a pitch fork*
Jennifer - Isn't David Nicholls just awesome??
Catherine - Love the imagery!!
Jennifer - Thanks! I couldn't agree more. :)
Kelly - Hard to top a day like that :)

C.M. Villani said...

I think it is more about the choices that you make instead of just the day. For you can make a dozen choices in a day and for each one, your life can turn out a dozen different ways. Each choice leads us to a different path. So it is our choice in the end on how our lives proceed.

Pretty philosophical, huh? ;D

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

C.M. - Well said. Absolutely true. :)

Cathy Kozak said...

Fate and free will - whether we step tentatively forward of our own free will or are thrown head first into the void, we are new with each new moment. Frightening and thrilling at once!

http://cathykozak.com
http://theinsatiablepillowbook.wordpress.com

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Cathy - "We are new with each new moment." I love this. So so so true.

Janel said...

What an interesting concept to think about. I've looked back at my life, at different times, and realized what seemed like little decisions at the time had ultimately made my life infinitely better. You just never know!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Janel - I know what you mean! It's so amazing how even the tiniest of choices contribute to where we are today. :)

mymommyconfessions said...

Cupid and I believe that our lives are the sum of the choices we make on a day-to-day basis. The milestones of our lives are not the result of just that "one day", but a series of regular days and regular choices.

Nice post and nice blog, Sam!

- Mia

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Mia! Every choice definitely counts. :)

ONID said...

I go by the age old adage--"Live each day as if it were your last."
And how should we live it.......as Albert Einstein had said- “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I choose the latter. :-)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

ONID - "...everything is a miracle." Yes!!! Love this. :)