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  • Writer's pictureJames G Yeo

The Author's Corner: Yesterday

It is a foggy morning as you wake up on the waterfront. Single, you have the day to yourself. Your thoughts are of the day before, you had driven up to the city to visit some friends and family. The day was filled with catching up with everyone. Now it is six in the morning as you look out your hotel window. What to do after breakfast is the only planning at hand as it is a Monday morning. Maybe a walk down the boardwalk to one of the many coffee shops along the harbour.

As for yesterday, only memories as you play back what has happened. All the news and just having the time with your friends and family. As you are walking along the waterfront, the coolness of the morning sends a chill throughout your body. The sounds of fog horns are going off in the distance. As you breathe you can taste the salt in the air.

Finding one of the coffee shops, you get yourself a coffee and some pastry to snack on as you sit down and watch the fog slowly lift. As it does, it reveals the harbour and the many ships that are coming and going. A perfect setting but all will be in yesterday's memories to come.

The thing about yesterday is that you can not relive it or change something for the better. It is the past and has been put into your memories as such. The would have’s and should have’s are always going to be there if you let them in. For everyone who lives in their past it gives power to it which allows the past to control the future. I know it is hard to move on from what the past has been at times because of painful events that have happened or even great events. The thing is to live for today and not yesterday.

In remaining in yesterday we loose the time that is the present. It was like yesterday when I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia even though it was back in February of 2005. That is the things that living in yesterday will do to us. In another way it was October 2016 when I published my first book and once again it was like yesterday. For many years I lived in the days of yesterday, always looking at what happened in my past as I lost all my ability to living and enjoying today.

It was not until I realized what I was doing to myself when I changed my thinking. My friend had asked me a question one day when I was visiting him in Edmonton, Alberta. I had been down on myself talking about my illness and he said to me, “James are you the illness or is it apart of you?” At that moment I realized that I was letting the past to control me. I had not moved on from being diagnosed and at that time in my life I was running from my past. That day is now a yesterday, however it was the day I turned my life around. It would not be until the following day when I was driving home that I understood the message he was sending me. A few short months later I would find myself back on a mental health ward in a hospital. It took a fall for me to see that yesterday was not working for me.

Everyone has a past or like yesterdays that shape them to who they are today. It only take a small percent of the power to look forward to the present that it does to see the past. It is not easy to make this change at first, when you get into the habit of thinking about today and your goals for the future in a positive way your life changes. Yes, the past yesterdays are still going to be there, but you will be moving forward.

I had to retire in September of 2020 because my illness got worse. It was a decision of either having to end my work career or ending up where I would have to be hospitalized again. I made the choice that was hard to make and change my life totally. Once again, I could have looked at the past and not accepted the fact that I had to retire.

No matter what your yesterdays are, always remember that you can change your life for the better. It just takes a moment to make it happen where you are left with a choice to continue or give up on life. Now I ask the question, are you your past or is it a part of you?

Stay safe.

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