The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given



Yesterday is not ours to recover,
but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.
Lyndon B. Johnson


Funny how things work. I had envisioned the start of school this year as a new beginning for me. Finally I would have a 6 hour stretch each day with noone but myself to take care of. Well not exactly—taking care of the house and family is my job, but at least for 6 hours a day I would not have to attend to immediate needs of others. In my fantasy, I would drop the children at school, do 15 minutes of meditation, go for a nice run or do some yoga, write a blog, research ideas for a new career, then attend to cleaning, shopping, cooking, family finances etc.

Here we are several months into it and while I have managed most of those things, they usually do not occur on the same day and not nearly as often as I would like. Instead of the nice runs, I have been going to endless doctor visits trying to fix my feet. Meditation? Not so much. I have done a bit of yoga and it is wonderful. Why don’t I do more? Career? I can’t even manage to clean the house and go to the grocery store!

I have managed a couple of trips that weren’t on the schedule–one to see my daughter (fun) and one to see my father (in ICU, but ended well), but for the most part, I have just muddled, starting one project and wandering into another and another and then its time to pick up the kids and do homework, dinner, baths and bedtime.

Not what I had envisioned. And it really mucks up the story I had been telling myself for the last 23 years: If I could just have two minutes to rub together where I wasn’t taking care of a client or a kid or a husband, I would get myself and my house and my money in perfect shape and find my “true calling” in life.

Yesterday I was thinking of good advice I have been given over the years. The best came from my husband, “You are just going to have to be stronger.” At the time, there were a lot of bad things going on in my life and I was looking for a shoulder to cry on, so his advice wasn’t well taken. I sulked for a while and then realized that he was right. So I was.

It was amazing to find that I could be stronger instantly–just by deciding that I would be.  A mental shift that changed my world.

Anyway yesterday, I was thinking that the corollary is:

It doesn’t matter what you did to get where you are, all you can do is go from here.

But today I saw the quote from Lyndon B. Johnson and while its meaning is the same, it is more elegant and inspirational: “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.” No more dwelling on my past mistakes; my focus is forward.

And as for some more best advice I was given, this time by my father:


P.S. I am sure I didn’t thank either of them for their wisdom. So thanks Dad, thanks Hubby.

By Lee Brennan on Thursday, March 14, 2013

Categories: Goals, Resolution Tags: ,

One Response to “The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been GivenComment RSS feed

  • Markesens
    December 26th, 2016 3:02 pm

    As a kid I used to work at weekends, cleaning those ice cream vans that used to go around the streets and ring a bell to tell you they were there. The owner was a woman, a bit of tyrant. She worked hard herself and expected the same of those who worked for her. While i was cleaning windows on one of the vans she looked at what i was doing and said you are concentrating on the middle of the window, focus on the edges and the corners and the middle will take care of itself . it has been fifty years and it stays with me look after the details and the rest will take care of itself.

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