If you are old enough to get the reference of the title of this blog, you may share my opinion on the word “someday” because you’ve lived enough days to have noticed a few things.
If not, here’s some context. Will Robinson was a character on the series “Lost in Space” that ran in the 1960’s. It was long in reruns by the time I watched it: my high school friends and I would watch it on Saturdays, hungover, laughing at the campy melodrama. It had a robot in it, and in one particular episode, the robot warned Will of impending danger. (I also remember one episode where I think the robot actually said “take a chill pill” too, but we might have been playing a drinking game then so who knows if that really happened.) But I digress.
I believe that there are some words and concepts that are dangerous. “Someday” is one of those words.
An adverb, it is defined as: at some time in the future. As in: I know someday my whole family will be together and happy.
It is a word to hang your hopes on. Hopes for dreams coming true: “I’ll be a star someday.” Hopes of people’s poor behavior righting itself: “Someday, they will treat me better.” Hopes of exacting revenge: “Someday, they will be sorry.” (These are completely random examples, of course. Totally random samples.)
Seems pretty innocuous, right? What’s wrong with a little hope?
The problem happens when you start living so much for “someday” that you stop living this day.
I know firsthand that it’s possible to live from a deeply buried “someday” mentality and not even realize it. To live floating so much on that hope of the ever-elusive day in the future that life becomes the way you so desperately want it to, that life becomes a stream of yesterdays that weren’t really todays at all because the siren call of “someday” muted the music of the moment. I couldn’t even see what was because I was so fixated on and attached to visions of what I wanted life to be. I landed shipwrecked on the boulders of la-la-land, which before last year used to be a term that described “a fanciful state or dreamworld.” To put it another way, I awakened to the ugly and hard truth that I was way off course.
Once I realized that I was living from this hidden “someday” philosophy, after the shock wore off, and the anger, I had to forgive myself. After all, I was conditioned to live the world of “someday.” I grew up on fairy tales filled with songs like “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes.”
And “Someday my Prince Will Come.”
I literally took these songs to heart, and they shaped my view of the world.
I am not blaming Disney! (But there is something to be said about the powerful affect of replaying songs hundreds of times. Don’t they use that technique to break prisoners? Isn’t that a kind of brainwashing?) I love those songs.
But they promise. And “promise,” like “hope” and “potential, ” are words and concepts that can be used for the better or for the worse. They are potent. They are to be measured for use.
These days, I watch myself. I steer myself away from using words like “someday.” I practice gratitude for today, this present day. For what is, not what I wish will be. Yes, I have wishes and dreams. But I also have goals and action plans. I am not adverse to a little hope in my heart. I love me a Disney movie and sing those songs right along with the best of them.
But I live in today. My yesterdays are well-lived and appreciated. My tomorrows are what my todays become. They are the result of today, not the point of them.
My “someday” is now.