Today is the first day of the rest of your life

Growing up my routine was the same day after day. My dad got up before mom and I and had to wake us both up for school using a rooster magnet, that when squeezed, made a rooster noise. Yes, that sounds weird. Who needs alarm clocks when you have a rooster magnet? I’d scramble to get ready, scarf down some breakfast, and sit on the couch watching the morning news with Dad until my mom was ready to go.

Also a part of the morning routine were two of my dads favorite quotes, neither used on the same days, of course: one, if I tried to leave the house in sweats, he’d say, “you know what they say…(pause)…once you wear sweatpants, you’ve given up.” To this day, it still takes me great effort to wear sweatpants in public, and if I do, I feel like everyone is judging me. Two, the more important one, he would say, “today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

In high school, I can’t say I really believed that. The daily life of 15-year-old Elle consisted of being obnoxiously weird throughout every class, going to marching band and cheerleading practice and sleeping as much as humanly possible. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I didn’t have any intention of thinking about it any time soon.

Now, this line means something.

It means that today, things don’t have to be the way they have been. Today, you have the opportunity to do something great, big or small. Today will help shape the person you will become.

Today I vow to work out twice as hard as I have been, to be as productive as I can possibly be at work, to try not to sweat the small stuff and to enjoy the day.

So–today is the first day of the rest of your life–what are you going to do?

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