How to make it through the not-so-good days

Even when we know our life is good, it can feel overwhelming at times

Even if we're living out our dream. Even when we know we're blessed. Even--surprisingly--though we may be living our dream.

Blog. Thoughtful woman in park. 7.12.17Today, when that old, old feeling strikes me, I go back to what I discovered as a frazzled young mom.

Living on overload was dragging me down. But how to get a grip? 

Was I praying? Absolutely. I could see God's goodness in our life, but most days I felt myself hustling just to keep up on the basics.

I needed more. I needed some sort of a practical action plan. A stronger, wiser way of looking at people and my life.

From that crisis point I went back to school, so to speak. Any tidbit of time I could manage I first read the Bible and fed my soul. I scoured our daily newspaper and clipped useful articles. I tore out magazine articles and pored over good self-help books. I kept a notebook where I copied out the best sections and jotted down notes.  

Enter Dr. Crane, who offered advice, free for the taking

His column ran regularly in our newspaper. His down-to-earth approach to life appealed to me. This professional's syndicated column, "Dr. Crane Says," ran in newspapers all over the USA. Later I learned his column already had been running for decades when I found it for myself.

Each time I found useful pointers for living. Even then I knew it was genius to take lengthy principles for mental health and boil them down to their essence, so that readers of any educational level could understand them.

Back then it seemed groundbreaking when Dr. Crane's  "Just for Today" piece appeared. Over the years I noticed he reran it periodically, always explaining it cut down on constant requests for reprints.  

The first time I read it I taped it to a cupboard door and reread it at least once a day. His simple wisdom painted a picture for me of what it would look like to live richly and feel I had some control over my life. It laid out a clear track that anyone could follow.

Recently I ran across this old friend again

Obviously, I'm not the only reader who prized Dr. Crane's practical wisdom. Since this piece now is in the public domain, I pass it on in its original 1921 version. May you, too, find these timeless words useful and helpful. Even today, they speak to my heart. May they speak to yours, too.                             

                                                        JUST FOR TODAY

Here are ten resolutions to make when you awake in the morning.

They are Just for One Day. Think of them not as a life task but as a day’s work.

These things will give you pleasure. Yet they require will power. You don’t need resolutions to do what is easy.

1. Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

2. Just for Today, I will be Happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from Within; it is not a matter of Externals.

3. Just for Today, I will Adjust myself to what Is, and not try to Adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.

4. Just for Today, I will take care of my Body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.

5. Just for Today, I will try to strengthen my mind, I will study. I will learn something useful, I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

6. Just for Today, I will exercise my Soul. In three ways, to wit:

    (a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.

    (b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.

    (c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but Today I will not show it.

7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible,  talk low,  act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit  nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

8. Just for Today, I will have a Programme. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests, Hurry and Indecision.

9. Just for Today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective to my life.

10. Just for Today, I will be Unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be Happy, to enjoy what is Beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love love me. 

Even today, in 2021, the plan points us toward sound mental health, doesn't it? Most refreshing of all, there's not one word of controversy or fear or politics.

Does the list sound too daunting to master? First let's remind ourselves this is a list to work toward, not one one which we either pass or fail. It's like a road map that points toward an attractive destination. 

Besides, we're not in this alone. Today and every day, our Best Friend is with us and strengthens us. Here's the key Bible verse that proves that. 

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.                                                               Philippians 4:13   

Just for Today, with God's help, we'll make it through.

Still growing, too, 


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