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  • Writer's pictureMichael Holme

One day at a time

Updated: Mar 12

As a much younger man the pressures upon me seemed greater, and with poor mental health I was not equip to cope, or as in the chicken and egg metaphor, the pressures caused my poor mental health.

There's so much going on today. In highly developed capitalistic countries, navigating life is like going through a minefield and quagmire combined. Whereas by living in the Amazonian jungle, your concerns would be more like food, shelter, procreation, fire, clothing, etc., alone, in daily cycles. There'd be no hankerings for the next new model of Mercedes Benz car; or having career aspirations. The same is true of nomads in the Sahara desert. There's an almost infinity less of bothers and concerns outside of the most developed countries like the UK.

When I finally stopped smoking, after several attempts; in the early stages I would say to myself, I didn't smoke yesterday, I can do it again today. That was a good example of taking life one day at a time. Incidentally, I quit in 2012.

I was talking with my wife today about younger men, or those under forty. She told me that her own younger female friends, report that their boyfriends find commitment almost impossible. Straight away I said, they don't take life one day at a time. If they did, rather than viewing something as a life sentence, it might seem manageable; but they want to keep their options open and not be sacrificial in any way. Also, they're made to feel they should have ambitions, aspirations, and goals, etc., to be things or somebody. That's because they live in the UK though, and not the Amazon, Sahara, or Papua New Guinea, or somewhere.

The bigger, faster, better, brighter, greater, stronger, taller, longer, etc., etc., are not as achievable when taking life a day at a time. But planning, and always living for a future that might or might not happen, may cause anxiety. Whilst failure could lead to depression. I've said before about balance being important, so life should never be black or white alone. By standing outside of the crowd, and learning the true value of the things in life, not just objective ones, but the harder to figure out ones too: the subjective ones, like love; and then by taking chances on your measure of it all, you might get happy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th century champion of individualism, and leader of the transcendentalist movement, said "it's not the destination, it's the journey." That's what I'm saying That's what life taught me.

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