One Day at a Time, is one of our slogans in the twelve step program that I belong to. It is one of my favorite, but it was the hardest for me to learn to live by.
I spent thirty years living in yesterday, and tomorrow, but never today. Either I was living in the past whining and complaining about what all others had done to me, therefore living in my resentments and miserable; or I was living in the future, terrified of what could or would happen. I had no faith, so I lived in fear. I existed from crisis to crisis.
It took years of practice in recovery to really….know the meaning of it. The Serenity Prayer helped me to know what to focus on that I could change, and what things that I could not change.
It does not mean that we do not plan for the future or prepare for tomorrow. We just do our best to know God’s will, so that we can do God’s will. We take it a step at a time, one day at a time. We must do the “footwork”. We grow, one day at a time in our recovery too. We do not get well overnight.
If you want a job, then you must prepare and educate yourself, then follow through by creating a resume and applying for the jobs that you qualify for. Pray for God to direct you to the job that He wants you to have.
I make a list of what I need to do for the day, and I arrange them in order of priority, the most important first. I pay what bills that I can, like our water bill, so that we have water to drink, clean, and bathe with. I consider that a priority for me.
Everyone is different, so some may choose to spend their money on junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or crap that they do not need. But…if you are one of those people…be prepared to do without other things…and don’t expect others to pay you bills…or allow you to live rent free.
I used to manage apartments, and you would not believe how many people would spend their money on getting drunk or high, and not pay their rent or utilities. For me, that is a priority, I pay my living expenses first, then if there is any left I buy groceries or gas.
I knew a woman that did not pay her water bill for six months, while she used another woman’s water. Then, when they decided to cut off her water, she was pissed. What? It is not someone else’s job to pay your bills!
I told her that she should be grateful that the woman was nice enough to allow her to use her water at all, and that it was not her job to pay your water bill. She did not see anything wrong with using the other woman . I did.
Of course, she made excuses! Oh, she had to pay other bills. No, she did not have to pay other bills, if there was not enough income for the internet, cable, junk food, and cigarettes, then she should do without others do.
I offered to help her with a budget, to no avail. Ten years later, she is whining about not being able to pay her cable bill and internet. It is sad, but some people never grow up.
I thank God everyday, that I had responsible parents who paid their living expenses first, fed and clothed their six children before the non essential things. My Daddy made very little money, and Mother was a stay at home Mother. We were taught that if we could not afford it, then we did not need it, and could live without it. We ate beans and cornbread and cheap meals a lot.
My childhood has prepared me to “Live life on life’s terms” not mine. My Big Book stated the same thing. We may be broke as hell, but we will have water and a roof over our heads. I love the quote by Saint Paul, “I have learned in whatsoever state that I am in, therewith to be content.”