The problem with second chances

Every day is a second chance.

This sentence has been haunting me for the past few days.

On the one hand, I like it.  We all have days that just don’t go well.  And it’s refreshing to know that while we sleep, we can wipe the slate clean and start fresh the next day.

But on the other hand, I don’t like it.  It makes me think of constantly chasing the elusive perfect day.

Our days are filled with good moments and not so good moments.  We all have moments where we are happy, excel, and do the right thing.  It may be a good laugh with a friend, getting a good review on a report, or helping a stranger pick up papers that fell on the floor.

And every day we have moments that are less than stellar, maybe even bad.  We may have snubbed a friend because we were stressed over an upcoming meeting, missed a deadline, or rolled our eyes at a person who was moving too slowly in line at the grocery store.

A typical day is going to be filled with happiness and good memories, as well as frustrations and things we would rather forget.

But since every moment was perfect, does that this mean we failed at our day?  Do the few bad moments mean that the day goes down in the record books as a loss?

The short answer is no.

These past few weeks have been extremely hectic, a bit chaotic, and very stressful for me.  And almost every day was filled with some good highs, and some bad lows.  Stress is a funny thing.  It can really cause a lot of mistakes and atypical behavior.  And every day that I felt like I made too many mistakes, or didn’t do what I set out to do, I felt like I failed.  And within seconds the thought of “I’ll do better tomorrow” popped into my head.  And that thought reassured me, even if deep down I knew that it would be a very hard task to “do better” the next day.

But just because I made a few mistakes, does that mean that I failed these past few weeks?  There were things I could have done better.  But I did the best I could do.  And that’s all I can expect of myself.  So I don’t think I need to look at tomorrow as a second chance to get it right, to be better, to live a different life.

I do learn from the past, but I shouldn’t condemn myself for any mistakes.  And I shouldn’t expect perfection.

So tomorrow is just another day.  Another day, not to strive for perfection, but to live, love and experience the ups and downs that comes with life with as much grace as I can.

So whether you made a mistake at work or school, missed a few workouts, ate an extra piece of cake, or got angry at an undeserving person, don’t consider yourself a failure.  And maybe tomorrow you can make a different choice that makes you feel better.  But no matter the outcome that any day brings, remember all you have to do is the best you can do at that moment.

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