When I was a kid, my grandfather used to have this mug in his bathroom. It was behind the mirror in his turn of the century house. It was an old fashioned mirror that opened up to reveal three tiny metal shelves. These shelves were cluttered with medicines and other items that needed to be hidden from public eyes. The little mug lived in this cabinet. In this white mug he’d mix up shaving cream with a thick brush. He died when I was 6- or 7-years-old, but I remember nearly 40 years later this little mug.
After he’d mix the shaving cream in the mug, he’d spread it on his gruff face, weathered from years and years of smoking. He’d then shave his face with a metal safety razor that was as old as him – at 67 he seemed ancient to me at the time. As he would swish that razor in the water-filled sink, I’d stare at the words on the side of that mug.
The mug read, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I never understood it. How could today be the first day? What’s the rest of your life even mean? Years later, I now know. Years later, I think of it all the time. Years later, I wonder whether the day before he died if he knew what it meant.
The past is there to learn from, to correct and refine from. But, it is the past. Too much looking back and you lose site of the next turn in the road and the next opportunity to make the choice to be happier. I’m a big fan of history and understand the past is certainly a key to not repeating mistakes. However, making your mind look forward and create a better rest of your life, that’s the real spirit of living. The rest of your life started today, did you notice?