Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life


My Better Endings envisioning based on this month’s personal question (How Best to Start Over, Again?) reminds me to start every day with the postulate, “May I Make of This Day a Good Day.” This reminds me of the old adage, “Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life!”

I have a ninety plus year old friend (let’s call her Bea) who is having some degree of short-term memory loss. Bea always seems happy when I come to visit, as if this were the first time she had seen me for a long time.  She sees every day as an exciting new opportunity for enjoyment and daily blessings.

There was a PBS program years ago that I have never forgotten about the brain. The episode I saw was about a concert pianist who had suffered complete short-term memory loss. In his journal, every page contains the same statement: “This is the first day of my life!” When his wife of forty some years comes to visit him (almost daily), he is overwhelmed by happiness to finally see her again as if he had not seen her for a very long time, though he knows her as the love of his life and welcomes her visit. When this musician would sit behind a piano, he could still play an entire symphony beautifully, but as soon as he would stop playing, he would go through a brief physical convulsion before coming back to his normal, vacant frame of mind.


images are from

So, what can I learn from people with short term memory loss? Every day is like a whole new lifetime of possibility and potential. Perhaps as in the movie Groundhog Day, every day is a chance to tweak how I would present myself or respond to whatever arises. Without being laden by patterns of thought associated with memories, whether long term or short, I awake each day as somewhat of a tabula rasa, with one more chance to ‘get it right.’ Or if not “right” in any absolute sense, at least each day I can strike out as the best version of myself that is possible, that day.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

2 thoughts on “Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

  1. A beautiful take on something as frightening as memory loss. Perhaps our life narrative sometimes dulls our senses? Memory loss, or other brain ailments, can throw us back into mindfulness.


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