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There’s always tomorrow

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Command Chief
Have you ever found yourself looking forward to a time when things will calm down in your life? There are so many things that consume our time and energy. Maybe it's the next big inspection, or an impending deployment or an upcoming PCS. I bet you can't wait for all of that to be behind you. Maybe when all these events are over, things will calm down and you can just enjoy life.

I find myself thinking this some times. It seems I work toward a future date just to complete some milestone. Unfortunately, every time I reach that milestone, I look up and there is a new challenge on the horizon. If I constantly spend my days waiting for a time in the future when things will once again be normal, I think I miss a lot of life's joy in the present. Joan Rivers said "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God's gift, that's why we call it the present."

I was at the flight line last week and was talking to a couple of our maintenance professionals. We were discussing the topic of taking advantage of every day you have. Senior Master Sgt. David Wade captured the importance of living for today. He said he used to try to put everything in his rear view mirror and move on to the next thing. He said he realized he doesn't need to focus on putting things in his rear-view mirror. There are already too many things that he is looking back on. He now focuses on making the most of everyday. It won't be long before today is in the rear-view mirror as well.

Tomorrow isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to a future event. Albert Einstein said "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." It's just that we don't know if we have a tomorrow or how many tomorrows we have. I'm not trying to be fatalistic ... just realistic.

There is a difference between hoping for tomorrow and living for tomorrow. The Roman poet Horace said "Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow." There is a lot to do today. There are things to experience, places to see, books to be read, miles to be run and work to be done.

There are spouses to love, family members to cherish, relationships to be cultivated and acquaintances to be met. There are skills to be mastered, talents to be perfected and information to be learned.

The final quote I will leave you with is from Pablo Picasso. He said "only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."