What a Difference

Are you going through a tough time right now? Maybe it’s a health challenge, a loss, or a life change? If so, just remember, “what a difference a day makes.” Read on for inspiration.

"What a difference a day makes." This was my sister's mantra as she battled Stage 3 breast cancer for a year. I think of this mantra often because it can apply to all of us—no matter what challenge we are currently facing in our lives.

When my sister, Debbie, was going through her treatment which included chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiation, and surgery, she had good days and she had bad days. What got her through the bad days was knowing that there would be good days. She knew that even though she might feel really bad today, it didn't mean that was how she would feel tomorrow or the next day. The jingle from the C&R Clothiers commercials kept playing in her head.

"What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
What a difference a day makes
And the difference is you"

Knowing how much her mantra inspired her to get through the bad days, I bought her the CD of Dinah Washington singing What a Difference a Day Makes. Debbie would listen to the song over and over again, as many times as she needed to get through the low days.

Are you going through a tough time right now? Maybe you have a health issue of your own. Or maybe you have experienced a loss or are having trouble in a relationship. Maybe it's an injury that has you down or you are going through a life change. For me, I got a rescue dog, Kora, six weeks ago who is a one-year-old Border Collie mix. In addition to Kora's high energy from being young and her intelligence from her breed, she has separation anxiety. I can't leave her in the backyard because she hops my six foot fence. I can't leave her inside because she misbehaves. I can't leave her in a crate because she bites the metal bars and never settles down. I just bought a large dog run for her and she found a way to escape.

Some days, I feel overwhelmed and suffocated. It feels like I have to go through great hoops just to leave the house for 30 minutes. Not a lot wears me down in life, but Kora has worn me down a few days in our six weeks together. But then I will have a day like yesterday. Kora and I went on our first off-leash hike with some friends and their dogs and it was awesome. She was very well-behaved and I loved seeing her run the trails. This morning, I went on a run with her and just seeing the joy on her face as we were running filled me up with so much happiness. I loved seeing her trotting along beside me so happy to be out running. It made me remember what a difference a day can make. When I'm having those feelings of being overwhelmed by having a new puppy, I need to remember that not every day is going to be like this. In fact, the bad days are now coming farther between—just as they did for my sister. They will for you too.

There is a similar analogy in running. My running mentor, Tiffany, taught me as I was training for my first marathon that "one bad mile does not make a bad marathon." You may not feel great at mile 10, but that doesn't mean you will still feel that way at mile 11. Circumstances can change. The sun might go into a cloud cooling it down. The energy gel you just took might rejuvenate your muscles. Seeing a cheering friend might give you the boost you need to get out of the bad patch. Hold on to the feeling of the good days, weeks, or miles to carry you through the bad ones.

Are you feeling bad today? If so, just remember what a difference a day can make.


Dina Colman is an integral health coach and writer. She has her MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University and her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University. She has an office in Danville where she works with clients to live an integral life of health and wellness. She founded Four Quadrant Living, providing information and motivation for healthy living through nourishment of the four quadrants of our lives—Mind, Body, Relationships, and Environment. This blog is from the Mind quadrant. Contact Dina at dina@fourquadrantliving.com

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