...one day at a time

sucigdem

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello,

When you get to my age, you just take one day at a time.

Of course first phrase is OK, but what does the second phrase mean?

(There isnt unfortunately any further information, because this is a sentence from the exercises of a grammer book and the exercises are about the using of "one" and "a/an" in the correct places.)

Help please, thank you!

Cigdem
 
  • sucigdem said:
    Hello,

    When you get to my age, you just take one day at a time.

    Of course first phrase is OK, but what does the second phrase mean?

    (There isnt unfortunately any further information, because this is a sentence from the exercises of a grammer book and the exercises are about the using of "one" and "a/an" in the correct places.)

    Help please, thank you!

    Cigdem
    Hi Cigdem,

    'To take one day at a time', in this context, means to live each day as you find it (or as it finds you).

    An older person might feel well and happy one day, able to get out and about. The next day he/she might not feel so good and decide to stay at home. One day, optimistic. Then another day, pessimistic.

    So, 'When you get to my age, you just take one day at a time.'


    LRV
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This expression is also often used by people whose life is difficult. To express their determination to work through the difficulty, and to explain how their approach to this is to deal with today's problems today, and leave tomorrow's problems to tomorrow, they would say they live one day at a time.
    Alternatively:
    Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    sucigdem said:
    When you get to be my age, you just take one day at a time.
    The latter clause means you don't live with your head wrapped in the future (which may not exist as you may imagine it), and you don't live with you head wrapped in the past (which is over, and reliving it today will only rob you of today and not restore yesterday).

    Adding in the former clause, adds either an element of exreme uncertainty as to the existence of a future (poor health) or a element of wisdom and acceptance of what is truly important in life (philosophy).
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Letting a little something out here, I'll tell you that the phrase comes from Alcoholics Anonymous - we take life "one day at a time" - which means that we try not to live in the past (dwelling on past mistakes and problems) or in the future (planning in advance what we will do if certain circumstances come to pass, or trying to 'script' our lives... "if she says ...., I'll say ----, then she'll say ..... and I'll say ----, then she'll say - and so on). This is not to say that we don't make longterm plans, but we just take each day as we find it.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    One day at a time. Do not take concern over yesterday, or tomorrow, but only of today for nothing can be retrieved from yesterday, and tomorrow has not yet come.

    One day at a time. Today is all I have. We can do nothing to change what has gone before. We can only decide, every day, the kind of person we choose to be for that one day.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Hello to all:
    I totally agree with my queen:D , panjandrum, maxiogee, and river.

    Besides, I think the original sentence is good. It's my own opinion that if one wants to change something, then one has to change the whole sentence a little. For example: "when you get to be as old as I am/me......" or "......you just take it the way it is."

    Well, I still think the original one is the best.:)
     
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