One Day at a Time

About 10 years ago, I was making a spinach kugel (pudding/casserole dish) to surprise my mom for her birthday which fell on the Sabbath. While using the food processor I came upon a kashrut (laws pertaining to kosher food) question and called the rabbi of the synagogue where I grew up. He picked up the phone. Before asking him my halachic (Jewish law) question, I asked him how he was doing. He responded, “one day at a time.”

His response was sincere, earnest, and honest. Ever since, when challenging things come up in life, I hear his voice in my mind, “one day at a time.” My rabbi, who was taking care of a congregation of 500 families couldn’t live any other way. When people have so much on their plate—so many enriching opportunities, as well as challenges—they can’t look too far ahead because they must conserve and preserve all their energy for giving their all into the present moment. And while it is super draining, it can also be quite rewarding to have a life where you pack so much into one day.

This past week, I heard my rabbi’s voice in my head again while caring for my two-week-old newborn. Each day brings on its own challenges and exhaustion. And often I wonder if I can survive it all. And then I remember, “one day at a time.” It was only a five-word response, but it was so packed with meaning. I don’t have to figure it all out. I don’t have to even figure tomorrow out. If I can just get through today and do the best I can, I will be all right. We will all be all right.

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