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July 21, 2016

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Today is the first day fridge magnet-8x6
THE OLD SIXTIES SLOGAN:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
      
Charles Dederich (1914-1997)
       Founder of
Synanon, the 1960s drug rehabilitation organization that morphed into a cult 
      
Most sources credit Charles Dederich with coining this well-known self-help mantra in the 1960s, around the time he founded Synanon. Clearly, it’s use by Dederich and Synanon as a slogan for recovering drug addicts helped popularize the saying. However, Dederich may or may not have created it. It’s one of those sayings that just seem to have been floating around in the 1960s. Many websites and books say it was coined by the legendary Hippie activist/theater group called The Diggers. It was also used by Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman in his 1968 book Revolution for the Hell of It (1968), as the title of a song in the obscure 1968 musical Love Match, and on on everything from head shop posters and greeting cards. I suspect that’s why some sources simply (and perhaps rightly) credit it to “Anonymous.” (Related post: “One day at a time”)

Steve Martin Twitter profile pic

STEVE MARTIN’S COUNTERTWEET:

“I thought yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life but it turns out today is.”
       Steve Martin
       American actor, comedian, musician and writer
       A tweet from his Twitter feed

Juicy Tomatoes book cover-8x6
THE “OLD” OPTIMIST’S VARIATION:

“Do something outrageous, bold, unlike yourself. If the bathing suit doesn’t fit, skinny-dip. The clock ticketh. To adapt an old philosophy: Today is the youngest day of the rest of your life.”
      
Susan Swartz
       California-based journalist, author and public radio commentator
       Advice in her book
Juicy Tomatoes: Plain Truths, Dumb Lies, and Sisterly Advice about Life After 50 (2000)

today_is_the_first_day_of_the_rest_of_your_life_tshirt-p235880279654881526z850c_400-8x6
THE AGELESS PESSIMIST’S VARIATION:

“Today today is the first day of the rest of your life...and it too will suck.” 
      
T-shirt slogan (on Zazzle.com)

American_Beauty_poster-8x6
THE WALKING WOUNDED VERSION:

“Remember those posters that said, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’? Well, that’s true of every day but one — the day you die.”
      
Kevin Spacey, as the character Lester Burnham
       A poignant quote from the 1999 film
American Beauty, spoken as a voiceover by Lester not long before he commits suicide.

botld-02 - Happy Zombie button-8x6
THE WALKING DEAD VERSION:

“To our newest undead recruits. Good moaning. Today is the first day of the rest of your afterlife.”
      
Virginia Reynolds (a.k.a. “MsCadavreExquis”)
       American author alleged to be the “love child of Marcel Duchamp and Victoria Woodhull”
       From the "Deadication" of her book
The Art of War for Zombies: Ancient Chinese Secrets of World Domination (2011)

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