I haven’t blogged in a while, and I was mentally berating myself for laziness, and worrying about everything I want to accomplish, when I decided to stop and read Dale Carnegie again.

Yes, again.

I am one of those people. I like self-help books. Hardly any of them say anything new, but the good ones don’t claim to. They simply distill the wisdom of the ages, or find a new way to phrase some common-sense precepts our ancestors took for granted.  When I’m feeling sorry for myself, I can count on a few to kick what needs kicking and get me back on track.

I have Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living on my Kindle, and I turn to it periodically for a refresher course on living peacefully in the present. Carnegie started teaching his principles for success almost exactly 100 years ago, but his accounts of “modern” men and women overcome by anxiety and worry could apply equally well today. We think we invented stress. We didn’t.

So here’s today’s lesson for Carolyn: there is only today. Worrying about what I should have done yesterday or need to do tomorrow is a waste of precious time.

Or as Mr. Carnegie puts it, right in chapter one: “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” 

Outside my window today are brown, rain-soaked autumn leaves, but I get the point. This is it. There is only now. What I haven’t accomplished doesn’t matter; what I will accomplish is yet to be seen. Whether I even accomplish anything today is not important, because today isn’t about me. It is around me.

I just have to pay attention to it.